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Creating Bone Tissue From Inkjet Printer Technology!

A bioengineering team from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have presented a way to employ techniques based on inkjet printer technology to help stem cells become bone tissue cells.

The team uses a set of inkjet-style streams to shoot little bits of proteins (like droplets of printer ink) on top of nurturing proteins -- think of them as the paper -- in a certain pattern. Then, the team drops stems cells on top of the whole concoction, which depending on what "bio-ink" was used, can turn into bone-type cells or potentially even other cell types.

Amazingly, mere tweaks of the patterns with different print-heads can deliver multiple concentrations of the bio-ink, thereby creating varying tissue types, says Carnegie Mellon researchers.

While human trials are still a ways off, let's just hope that bio-ink cartridges aren't nearly as much of a scam as regular inkjet cartridges are when they reach that point.

NewScientist.com December 11, 2006

LiveScience December 11, 2006