Indian origin scientist 3D prints skin with blood cells to h
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Indian origin professor of chemical and biological engineering Pankaj Karande and his team at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a way to 3D print living skin with complete blood vessels.

Pankaj, who is also a biological engineering member of the Centre for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies says, "Right now, whatever is available as a clinical product is more like a fancy Band-Aid. It provides some accelerated wound healing, but eventually, it just falls off; it never really integrates with the host cells."

This is because there is no presence of a functioning vascular system in the skin grafts. Karande and his team have been to bring vasculature and finally figured out that if they add key elements like human endothelial cells (that line the inside of blood vessels) and human pericyte cells (what wraps around the endothelial cels) along with collagen and other structural cells seen in a skin graft, the cells start interacting and create a vascular structure in just a few weeks.

The team members from the University of Yale grafted this on a mouse and noticed that the skin was interacting and bonding with the mouse's blood vessels.

Pankaj added, "That's extremely important because we know there is actually a transfer of blood and nutrients to the graft which is keeping the graft alive."

However, the skin is still far from being applied at a clinical level as they would need to do numerous other tests for it to be fit for human application. The 3D printed skin will be a boon for burn victims (due to damage to nerve and vascular endings) as well as diabetic patients whose skin takes longer to heal.

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Nov 7, 2019Like1