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.
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"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.