Half 3D Printer, Half Tape Dispenser for Skin Graft Patients

From left to right, Associate Professor Axel Guenther, Navid Hakimi and Richard Cheng with 3D 'skin printer'.

University of Toronto engineers recently developed what they’re referring to as a handheld 3D skin printer. The device boasts the ability to create skin tissue that is ready for placement within two minutes. According to its creators, the device could serve as an alternative to skin grafts.

Skin grafts demand that healthy skin from somewhere on the body be removed and placed on the diseased or damaged area. This new device essentially rolls out a new layer of 3D-printed skin tissue, or bio-ink, onto the areas in need. The portable device weighs just over two pounds and looks more like a packing tape dispenser than a printer.

While it has not been tested on human patients yet, the device has shown positive outcomes on rat and pig wounds. The team is currently working to demonstrate how their device compares with the established tools and approaches in use.

 

Image Credit: University of Toronto/https://www.utoronto.ca/news/u-t-researchers-develop-portable-3d-skin-printer-repair-deep-wounds

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