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Bioprinter Applied to Deep Skin Wound Repair

Bioprinter Applied to Deep Skin Wound RepairBioprinter Applied to Deep Skin Wound Repair

An Iranian-led team of researchers from the University of Toronto have developed a handheld 3D skin printer that can apply layers of skin tissue directly onto patients to cover and heal wounds.

According to the researchers, the printer is an alternative to a conventional skin graft, but does not require healthy skin to be removed from a donor and grafted on to a patient. Instead, the device fits in patient’s hand and can be used like a white-out tape dispenser, rolling out “bio ink” skin tissue directly on the affected areas. It weighs less than two pounds, reported CNET.

The shoebox-sized gadget was built by a team from the University of Toronto, led by Ph.D. student Navid Hakimi under the supervision of associate professor Axel Guenther.

Researchers believe it is the first device that can form skin directly on top of a wound, in two minutes or less.

The gadget has already been tested on rats and pigs. The scientists now plan on expanding the size of coverable wound areas, and hope to eventually begin clinical trials on humans.

Human skin may be the next canvas for 3D printing. Researchers at the University of Minnesota have also used 3D printers to place electronics directly on to people’s skin, and other prototype skin printers already exist.

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