A hybrid 3D-printer  can create cartilage implants that may eventually help injured patients re-grow cartilage, according to a new study.
Combining a traditional ink-jet printer and an “electrospinning machine,” scientists can build implants made from synthetic and natural materials, science journal Biofabrication  reported. The former ensures the implant is strong, while the latter promotes cell growth, researchers said.
To test their performance in a living being, the implants were inserted into mice for two, four and eight weeks, with successful results.
“After eight weeks of implantation, the constructs appeared to have developed the structures and properties that are typical of elastic cartilage, demonstrating their potential for insertion into a patient,” said the Institute of Physics , which publishes Biofabrication.
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November 27, 2012