The Chinese company Revotek released the world's first 3D blood vessel bioprinter on Sunday (25 October). With two nozzles working alternatively, the bioprinter can finish a 10cm blood vessel within two minutes.
"The core of the printer is the BioBrick, in which there are stem cells. Given certain environment and conditions, it [the stem cell] can, according to our requirements, differentiate into the cells we need," said Kang Yujian, chief scientist at Revotek.
The BioBrick refers to a stem cell-producing system with a biomimetic function. As for 3D blood vessel bioprinting, the major difference setting it apart from other 3D printings is that it has to keep the stem cells active during the process.
"The achievement is not just about printing one blood vessel, but finding the method of sustaining vascular cells and other active substances. The method is useful in blood vessel printing, and in the printings of livers, kidneys and other organs," said Dai Kerong, an academic at the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
Dai added that although the breakthrough has a lot of potentials, there can be a long time before it can be applied to human medical care.