Researchers 3D print living tissue

CAROLINA (REUTERS) - This synthetic ear could be a breakthrough in regenerative medicine.  

It was produced using a 3D bioprinter at the Wake Forest School of Medicine.  

The team used a process they've called the "Integrated Tissue and Organ Printing System."  

Here, the 3D bioprinter produces a network of tiny channels that allow the printed tissue to be nourished after being implanted into a living animal.  

The researchers produced three types of tissue - bone, cartilage, and muscle - and transplanted it into rats and mice.  

They found it was still viable for weeks or months at a time after implantation.  

As well as an ear, they also printed part of a human skull and jawbone.  

Results with 3D-printed skeletal muscle were equally impressive, say the researchers.  

The study was published this week in the journal Nature Biotechnology.