Scientists in Scotland have come up with a method of creating 3D printers which can make human stem cells.
The researchers, at the Heriot-Watt University, can print human embryonic stem cells in a move which could revolutionise organ replacement in the coming years.
This is very important for the Scots as being able to replace a liver is crucial for the development of the species.
According to Humans Invent, the printer is able to print clusters of the embryonic stem cells delicately enough that they don’t get harmed in the process.
It uses a series of micro valves and Dr Will Shu, who was involved in the research, says this sort of printing is much gentler than ink jet printing.
As a result, the printer not only achieved a high stem cell viability but the cells also maintained the ability of a stem cell to turn into any other type of cell.
It means that the stem cells could make any type of organ or tissue and while 3D printing cells has been achieved previously, Shu’s group is the first to print human embryonic stem cells.
The technology is important becuase it removes the religious problems of harvesting cells from real humans.