We can print ears and small organs, but can we also print brain tissue?
Scientists in Australia have created brain-like tissue in the lab using a 3D printer and special bio-ink made from stem cells. (Advances healthcare materials Issue online:6 September 2017)
The research takes us a step closer to making replacement brain tissue derived from a patient’s own skin or blood cells to help treat conditions such as brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and schizophrenia.
One of the challenges of using iPSCs (human induced pluripotent stem cells), is that, like embryonic stem cells, they have the potential to develop into teratomas — disturbing looking tumours that contain more than one type of tissue type (think toenails growing in brain tissue, or teeth growing in ovary tissue…).