A 3D-printed part of a spinal cord helped a mouse regain the use of its legs. Human body parts are next.\n
The future of 3D printing in medicine has been on the agenda for a long time but the majority of these plans have only been on paper and have never come to life. There is an easy explanation: medicine has always been accompanied by difficulties and risks. Scientists from California have broken away from this trend with their latest achievement.
Using a 3D printer, the researchers have created and then implanted the mouse with part of a spinal cord. The paralyzed mouse has regained the use of its legs.
Creating a spinal cord implant wasn’t easy: well-functioning details needed delicate work on nerve fibers, which is why most devices and materials didn’t work for printing.
The scientists used a material called polyethylene glycol methacrylate for the base for the prosthetic. This polymeric material was then mixed with stem cells and exposed to UVA light. The process took only 1.6 seconds.
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