- Living flesh grown ‘inside out’ with blood vessels grown on a frame
- Tissue grows over ‘frame’ made out of sugar
- Technique could create steaks with texture of real flesh
- Could also be used to make living organs such as livers for transplant
Artificial, lab-grown steaks that taste and feel just like the real thing could be round the corner thanks to a 3D printing breakthrough.
The technique could also be used to create working artificial organs for transplant.
Bioengineers can already make 2D structures out of tissue – but attempts to make organs or larger piece of meat usually lead to sludge.
University of Pennsylvania researchers have found that 3D printing ‘templates’ of sugar and growing meat over them can create living artificial ‘organs’ with blood vessels.
So far, one of the major roadblocks to making the jump from 2D to 3D is keeping the cells within large structures from suffocating.
The new technique works by printing organs ‘inside out’ so that the blood vessels are printed first, then flesh is grown around them.
‘Sometimes the simplest solutions come from going back to basics,’ Miller said.
‘I got the first hint at this solution when I visited a Body Worlds exhibit, where you can see plastic casts of free-standing, whole organ vasculature.’