Printing Technology Aids in Search to Cure Blindness

By January 7, 2014Uncategorized

Technology Used Successfully to Print Mature Central Nervous System Cells

Recently, in England, a number of research types collaborated to employ inkjet printing technology in order to print cells taken from a human eye for the very first time.

Within the paper which describes the study, IOP Publishing’s journal Biofabrication, the breakthrough was described as something which may lead to the creation of artificial tissue grafts made from the variety of cells found in the human retina. Further, it may aid in the search to cure blindness.

Professor Keith Martin and Dr. Barbara Lorber, from the John van Geest Centre for Brain Repair, University of Cambridge, stated: ‘The loss of nerve cells in the retina is a feature of many blinding eye diseases. The retina is an exquisitely organized structure where the precise arrangement of cells in relation to one another is critical for effective visual function’.

‘Our study has shown, for the first time, that cells derived from the mature central nervous system, the eye, can be printed using a piezoelectric inkjet printer. Although our results are preliminary and much more work is still required, the aim is to develop this technology for use in retinal repair in the future.’

For use in regenerative medicine, 3D printing in the biomedical sciences to create cell-based structures is expected to rise dramatically. Professor Martin said, “We plan to extend this study to print other cells of the retina and to investigate if light-sensitive photoreceptors can be successfully printed using inkjet technology. In addition, we would like to further develop our printing process to be suitable for commercial, multi-nozzle print heads.”



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