The technology has so far been tested on mice. For patient testing, donor cells have to be modified using CRISPR.
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute announced that they had been able to print out living skin complete with blood supply using a 3D printer. The innovation is intended to accelerate skin regeneration, for example, in case of skin transplantation after severe burns.
What is available now as a clinical product is a kind of band-aid that provides accelerated wound healing, but does not integrate with skin tissue and eventually just falls off.
A particularly important advancement is the cells’ ability to form into vasculature within the tissue. Tests on mice showed that printed skin started connecting and interacting with animals’ own blood vessels. However, the material is not yet ready for human trials. The scientists are planning to prepare donor cells using CRISPR technology to rule out the probability of a transplant being rejected by the body.
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