Scientists have developed a 3D printing technique that reconstructs the complex geometry of blood vessels and could one day be used for the production of artificial arteries and artificial tissues.
A study published in the journal Nature Communications describes a layer-by-layer printing process that provides programmable control of the fine grain for stiffness.
The results could lead to better, more personalized treatments for people with high blood pressure and other vascular diseases.
“The idea was to add independent mechanical properties to 3D structures that could mimic the body’s natural tissues,”
said Xiaobo Yin, adjunct professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder, USA.
“With this technology, we can create customizable microstructures for disease models,” said Yin.
Hardened blood vessels are associated with cardiovascular disease, but it has always been difficult to find a solution for a viable replacement of arteries and tissues.
“Oxygen is usually a bad thing because it causes incomplete hardening, here we use a layer that allows a fixed rate of oxygen permeation”
said Yonghui Ding, a Ph.D. Researchers at the CU. Boulder.
By strictly controlling oxygen migration and subsequent exposure, researchers can control which areas of an object solidify to become harder or softer while maintaining the same geometry.
“This is a profound development and a first encouraging step in our goal of creating structures that work the way a healthy cell should function.”
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