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Chinese scientists print out living blood vessels

Reporter: Sun Tianyuan 丨 CCTV.com

12-10-2016 04:15 BJT

Now let's take a look at a ground breaking technology which could potentially save thousands of lives. Introducing 3D printed blood vessels made out of living cells. A group of Chinese scientists blends technology and biology, and makes a milestone in medical research.

3D printing technology is no stranger to the world.

But this time, Chinese medical researchers brings the concept to a whole new level by creating blood vessels.

And these are no prosthetic vessels - they are organic.

The world's first 3D bio-printer was invented last year.

Using bio-ink made of living stem cells from a Rhesus monkey, researchers are able to print layers of new cells to fuse with old ones.

"In five days, a new layer of endodermis will be formed, meanwhile, the smooth muscle cells will grow as well. And within 28 days, all these cells will go through tissue differentiation. That means the tissues we implanted will have mingled with the original ones and grown into a regular vessel. This is unprecedented," said Kang Yujian chief scientist of Sichuan Revotek. 

Experiments were conducted on 30 Rhesus monkeys.

After months of observation, scientists discovered the 3D printed vessels have completely blended in.

And all of the subjects are in good condition.

"Printing a 3D blood vessel is quite remarkable, but what's even more is to print a vessel that contains all sorts of bio-active substances. If we can apply this technology to blood vessels, then we can also use it on livers, kidneys and other organs. That's how groundbreaking this technology is," said Dai Kerong, academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering.

The technology is still in its early stages. But in the future, one can imagine this might be a life saver for those who are suffering from organ failure.

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