Researchers from the University of California San Diego have developed a 3D-printed, functional blood vessel network that they believe could someday be used in artificial organs and regenerative medicines. The team’s work was published in Biomaterials.
Previous work in the field has yielded simple and costly structures, the researchers said, that are not capable of integrating with the body’s own vascular system.
“Almost all tissues and organs need blood vessels to survive and work properly. This is a big bottleneck in making organ transplants, which are in high demand but in short supply,” lead researcher Shaochen Chen said in prepared remarks. “3D bioprinting organs can help bridge this gap, and our lab has taken a big step toward that goal.”