The Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine has created the Integrated Tissue and Organ Printing System (ITOP) for 3D bioprinting human tissue with increased structural integrity using biodegradable plastic scaffolding. The tissue is printed around layers of biodegradable polycaprolactone which gives the printed form a rigid structure to build around before it slowly dissolves away.
The polycaprolactone structure allows the ITOP system to create more complex structures than earlier work in 3D bioprinting including bone, cartilage, and skeletal muscle. The Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine is working on further developing the ITOP to be able to print even more complex tissue and organs.
The details of the system were recently published in a paper in Nature.
photos via Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine