Scientists in Arlington have developed a new substance that could be used to create human soft tissue.
Professor Yi Hong, Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Texas at Arlington, and his team have developed a highly elastic hydrogel that can be used to print human soft tissue. That includes skin, skeletal muscles, even blood vessels.
Hydrogel is currently used for 3-D printing, but has its limitations. For one, it breaks easily.
"It's not strong, it's not soft, it's not elastic," said Hong.
The new substance stretches, better mimicking human soft tissue. The substance can be used to create tissue patches to help a patient's natural tissue heal and regrow.
Hong says years of testing are still needed and use in humans could be at least a decade away. He says the goal is to one day use the hydrogel to make new blood vessels for children with heart defects.