Scientists 3D print ‘bone’ with living cells through a novel ink

By Onimisi-Momoh

Scientists from the University of New South Wales UNSW Sydney have developed a ceramic-based ink that may allow surgeons in the future to 3D-print bone parts complete with living cells that could be used to repair damaged bone tissue. The 3D-printer deploys a special ink made up of calcium phosphate, the scientists developed a new technique, known as ceramic omnidirectional bioprinting in cell-suspensions (COBICS), enabling them to print bone-like structures that harden in a matter of minutes when placed in water.

 While the idea of 3D-printing bone-mimicking structures is not new, it is however the first time such material is created at room temperature – complete with living cells.

Dr Iman Roohani who is from the School of Chemistry University of New South Wales said “This is a unique technology that can produce structures that closely mimic bone tissue,” he says. “It could be used in clinical applications where there is a large demand for in situ repair of bone defects such as those caused by trauma, cancer, or where a big chunk of tissue is resected.”