3D printing blood vessel networks

University of Pennsylvania engineers modified the RepRap open source 3D printer to spew out vascular networks made from sugar. They published their research in the journal Nature Materials. From IEEE Spectrum:

The sugar template creates a temporary set of guiding pipes where fluid will flow. After it is printed, it is coated in a thin layer of corn-based degradable polymer to help stabilize the sugar. (Researcher Jordan) Miller and his colleagues then pour living cells around the template to encapsulate it in what becomes solid tissue. The sugar template dissolves leaving a bare vascular network through which nutrient-rich fluid can flow.

"Scientists Build Vascular Network Using Sugar and a 3-D Printer"


  1. I was thanked in the paper and put this story in the submitterator, but it seems to be a very broken system :(

  2. Just imagine one day when soda is fortified with nanites that repair your cardiovascular system…  Just the thing for all those over worked stressed out temp employees.

    1.  You really think they’d put body repair robots into something as unhealthy as soda?

      1. Or in something that cheap?

        Profit, profit, profit.
        When “financiers” get a hold on such technology it will instantly become much more difficult to reproduce and its availability very limited. You know, offer/demand and what not.

  3.  Way to go Jordan Miller (aka Jmil in the #reprap IRC).  It is great to see something with so much potential come from such an inexpensive printer.  Especially since it is a modified frostruder he is using.

  4. Awesome, thanks all! We are super excited about this project and pursuing the future of regenerative medicine.

  5. This is great news! At last production of artificial organs and tissues will be possible on large scale. I’ve always said 3D printing was the future of biotechnology! :)  

Comments are closed.