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After 3D printing produced a cluster of stem cells, scientists were one step closer to making artificial human organs and using them for transplant.
In the short term, the technology can be used to produce drug tissue
Currently tested on animals.
3D printing technology relies on an adjustable 'micro-valve' that can construct a human embryonic stem cell layer.
This cell derived from early embryos is blank and has the potential to become any type of tissue in the body.
In the long run, new printing techniques can pave the way for these cells to be included in the transplant
Get the lab ready
Heriot researchers say organs and tissues are made
The breakthrough in this technology at Edinburgh-Watt University, they say, is its gentle treatment of delicate cells, which gives them a greater chance to thrive.
Dr. Will Shu, chief scientist, told Sky News: 'We found valves --
Basic Printing is gentle enough to keep high stem cell vitality '.
He also said that it is 'accurate enough to produce spheres of uniform size, and most importantly, printed human embryonic stem cells maintain their versatility --
Can be differentiated into any other cell type '.
Taking cells out of the patient and using it during 3D printing should allow scientists to implant the resulting tissue into the patient without triggering an immune response.
Jason King of Roslin Cellab, a stem cell biotechnology company involved in the study, said: 'Under normal circumstances, the laboratory grows cells in 2D, but some cell types have been printed out in 3D.
'So far, however, human stem cell cultures have been too sensitive to manipulate in this way.
'This is a scientific development and we hope and believe it will be of great value.
The term meaning of reliable animalsfree drug-
In the long run, testing and providing organ transplants on demand, without donations, and there is no problem of immune suppression and potential organ rejection.
'The scientists behind this breakthrough estimate that 3D printing technology could lead to a' production line 'of artificial organs in 10 years, but not until then.