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Researchers invent inkjet that prints out living skin

Researchers invent inkjet that prints out living skin

first_imgIf you’ve ever seen the lesser-known Sam Raimi movie Darkman, you probably remember that the plot involved the main character, Dr. Westlake, trying to figure out a way to “print” liquid skin to help burn victims. Westlake never did figure out how to keep the synthetic skin from destabilizing past the 98 minute mark, but luckily, Wake Forest Instititute for Regenerative Medicine researchers seem to have mastered it, showing off their amazing skin printer that uses living cells instead of ink.As the researcher note, “any loss of full-thickness skin of more than 4 cm in diameter will not heal by itself.” Enter their device, which allows a modified inkjet printer to produce reams of fresh skin which can be used to patch up victims of skin trauma. They’ve already tested it on mice, with extremely positive results.How does the printer work? It has two heads: one dispenses skin cells mixed with a blood coagulent and type I collagen, and the other pumps out thrombin, which is another coagulate. Sprayed together, these chemicals create a reaction and form fibrin, which again helps to clot blood. On top of that, the printer then adds a layer of outer surface skin. Voila!There’s still testing to be done — the next stage is on pigs, then human trials — but so far, this looks promising… if not to replace burned off skin, then at least to print out some life-like Halloween masks.Read more at Slashgearlast_img read more