Scientists at Fraunhofer are applying new techniques and materials to come up with biocompatible artificial blood vessels that will be able to supply artificial tissue and maybe even complex organs in future.
They are working on transferring this technology to the generation of tiny biomaterial structures by combining two different techniques: the 3-D printing technology established in rapid prototyping and multiphoton polymerization developed in polymer science.
Special inks are also being developed for the purpose of having the right material to manufacture 3-dimensional elastic solids.
The later blood vessels have to be flexible and elastic and interact with the natural tissue. Therefore, the synthetic tubes are biofunctionalized so that living body cells can dock onto them.
Scientists plan to test the first batch of printed vessels in animals later this year.
The study was recently presented at the Biotechnica Fair in Hannover, Germany.