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Writer Fuel: Scientists Use “Ice Printing” to Create Scaffold for Constructing Blood Vessels

A 3D-printed ice template (left) was used a scaffolding to later grow cells (right) in a blood vessel-like structure. (Image credit: Image courtesy of Feimo Yang.)
A 3D-printed ice template (left) was used a scaffolding to later grow cells (right) in a blood vessel-like structure. (Image credit: Image courtesy of Feimo Yang.)

Scientists are working to build blood vessels from human cells using tiny ice sculptures — these frigid 3D forms twist and branch like real arteries and can be used as temporary scaffolds that later get melted away, to be replaced by living cells.

The researchers demonstrated the first step of this blood-vessel-building process in a recent study by creating the scaffolds using a 3D “ice printing” technique. The scaffolds were then coated in a gel that was embedded with human cells, which the team grew for about two weeks.

The ice printing technique could one day be used to make realistic, lab-grown blood vessels from human cells that capture the “complex geometries” of real vascular networks in the body, study researcher Feimo Yang, a doctoral candidate in mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, told Live Science.

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Full Story From Live Science

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