Tag Archives: Scotland
Scientists from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, have developed a technique for 3D printing human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), claiming that this research could be advanced to eventually 3D print human organs. In the short-term, this technique could be used for more reliable drug testing.
Dr Will Shu, from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, told BBC: “We found that the valve-based printing is gentle enough to maintain high stem cell viability, accurate enough to produce spheroids of uniform size, and most importantly, the printed hESCs maintained their pluripotency – the ability to differentiate into any other cell type.”
Here is a video from Sky News featuring the Edinburgh lab and an interview with Dr. Will Shu.
The team’s research has been published in the journal Biofabrication.
More from BBC:
Jason King, business development manager of stem cell biotech company Roslin Cellab, which took part in the research, said: “Normally laboratory grown cells grow in 2D but some cell types have been printed in 3D.
“However, up to now, human stem cell cultures have been too sensitive to manipulate in this way.
“This is a scientific development which we hope and believe will have immensely valuable long-term implications for reliable, animal-free, drug testing, and, in the longer term, to provide organs for transplant on demand, without the need for donation and without the problems of immune suppression and potential organ rejection.”
Researches are leveraging 3D printing technology to conduct new types of experiments, specifically by turning the container used in the experiment into a reactive material.
Leroy Cronin, a chemist at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, published their work in the April 15 edition of Nature Chemistry, including the method of generating custom labware made to suit individual researchers’ needs.
Looking beyond this experiment, Cronin sees 3D printing playing a pivotal role in scientific progress:
In the distant future, Cronin envisions that researchers and perhaps even ordinary consumers could download 3D printing programs similar to smart-phone applications. Such applications might instruct the printer to create a vessel that has a pre-programmed and fully tested chemical reaction built in.
The video below highlights the work of Cronin and his colleagues.