University of Pennsylvania

Bioprinting with Sugar

I didn’t read a ton of Sci-Fi when I was a kid (Tolkien was more my thing), but I did read enough of it to expect to someday have cloned organs appear as an alternative to donated organs. I did not, however, expect that these organs might be created using sugar or even have any concept of bioprinting.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) have figured out how to use a 3D printer and sugar to create a vascular system. The research is revealed in journal Nature Materials. When mixed with bio-gels like fibrin, Matrigel or extracellular matrix (ECM) mimics, the process has the potential for building viable organs.

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National Science Foundation Envisions Printed Robots

Robots have been a growing part of our world since the first bot took its place on the assembly lines at General Motors in 1961. That’s not even counting robots in science fiction. Even pre-industrial societies had ideas about automatons in various guises, such as the Golem of Prague. Recent innovations have put robots in Amazon warehouses and I’m sure you heard something about a robot on Mars.

With all of this “robot-ization” going on, you’d think we’d have more of the things around the house or in use for small businesses. Regardless of advances since 1961, robots are still expensive to design, build and code. The National Science Foundation (NSF) hopes to alleviate that expense with its $10 million project: “An Expedition in Computing for Compiling Printable Programmable Machines.”

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