According to research published in the journal Biofabrication, it is now possible to use a 3D printing method to generate stem cells, which can be used to build larger structures, including micro-organs.
The research was published by scientists from Tsingua University in China and Drexel University in Philadelphia, which claims to have found a new way to create 3D-printed ‘building blocks’ of embryonic stem cells (ESCs).
The new method mixes the embryonic stem cells with hydrogel, and prints a tiny six layered grid square. Before, researchers have only managed to produce two-dimensional sheets of cells.
“It was really exciting to see that we could grow embryoid body in such a controlled manner”, said lead author Wei Sun. “The grown embryoid body is uniform and homogenous, and serves as a much better starting point for further tissue growth.”
This new breakthrough will make viable pluripotent stem cells more accessible to researchers.