Printing Living Cells in 3D

Yeast cells printed into a pattern spelling "UMD"--for "University of Massachusetts Dartmouth"--after 3 days growing.

Here is the ultimate in downloadable designs: body parts. Paul Calvert of the University of Massachusetts says in Science that "3D techniques could help unravel the mysteries of cell-to-cell communication and, perhaps in the distant future, manufacture human organs from scratch."

Calvert told MSNBC that he walks into electronics stores, buys an inkjet printer cartridge and fits it onto a software-controlled robot back at his lab. "What you see is a familiar cartridge sitting in the middle of this machine," But instead of controlling differently colored inks, Calvert said the machine controls different cultures of cells fed into the cartridge nozzle. He then deposits cells in thin layers, covers it with a membrane that acts like a "porous scaffolding" and then prints more cells on top. ::MSNBC For more on downloadable designs, visit ::In An Absolut World Everything is Downloadable

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