3D Printing Accident Leads to ‘Tissue Paper’ with Healing Properties

One of the biggest stories in medical 3D printing from the past few months came out of Northwestern University, where researchers 3D printed a working ovary and implanted it into a mouse, which then successfully became pregnant and gave birth. That was an incredible achievement in itself, and represents a beacon of hope for women suffering from infertility. While the team was developing the 3D printed ovary, however, the study also branched out in another direction, thanks to a fortuitous accident.

 

While Adam Jakus, a postdoctoral fellow in Professor Ramille Shah’s lab, was preparing 3D printing ink made from ovarian cells, he accidentally spilled some. Before he could wipe it up, the ink solidified, forming a sheet of dry material like paper.

 

“When I tried to pick it up, it felt strong,” said Jakus, who is now Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of Dimension Inx, LLC, a startup also co-founded by Shah. “I knew right then I could make large amounts of bioactive materials from other organs. The light bulb went on in my head. I could do this with other organs.”

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