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3D-printed Lego-inspired bricks, to heal broken bones

Tested some aspects in rats, could make lab-made organs for human transplant possible


Key points from article :

Tiny, 3-D-printed bricks have been designed to heal broken bones.

Inspired by Lego blocks, the small, hollow bricks serve as scaffolding.

This is where hard and soft tissue can regrow better than today's standard regeneration methods.

Each brick is 1.5 millimeters cubed, or roughly the size of a small flea.

When stacked together, the microcages are designed to repair broken bones.

Hollow blocks can be filled with small amounts of gel containing various growth factors.

Effective in study wherein growth factor-filled blocks were placed near repaired rat bones.

It led to about three times more blood vessel growth than conventional scaffolding material.

Improves healing by stimulating right type of cells to grow in the right place at the right time.

Team envision it could also be used to build or repair soft tissues.

They hope the modular microcage approach could even be used to make organs for transplant.

Research from Oregon Health & Science University, published in Advanced Material.

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Advanced Materials

Scientific journal covering materials science.

Luiz Bertassoni

Assistant Professor at Oregon Health and Science University

Mahidol University

Autonomous research institution in Thailand

New York University (NYU)

One of the world’s foremost research universities

Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU)

University in Portland, Oregon

Ramesh Subbiah

Postdoctoral Fellow at Oregon Health and Science University

University of Oregon

Public university in Eugene, Oregon

Topics mentioned on this page:
3D Printing, Regenerative Medicine