Washington: U.S researchers have hit upon a good device to utilize original stem cells with the help of an "inkjet"-style printer. A group of bioengineers at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute and stem cell researchers from the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine have put together a method to organize the growth of stem cells into tissues.
Julie Jadlowiec Phillippi of Carnegie Mellon along with a team, spent time on mouse stem cells, which were taken from muscles and allowed to grow into a range of bone and muscle cells. For the stem cells to grow into distinct cell types, scientists made use of proteins known as growth factors. Each cell type needs a specific protein type to give a thrust to it, and in the right direction. The Pittsburgh team has now created a system that will make the cells grow in just the same way as the pattern of cells present in a living bone.
On a sheet of proteins which formed a base, scientists used a robotic inkjet-style machine to shoot small quantities of different proteins in a typical pattern. Stem cells are positioned on the top of this pattern and allowed to grow, in a manner mimicking the pattern of the base.
Subsequently, the team would be working on creating cartilage and fat cells. This technique is indeed promising, but still needs to be researched and tested before it can be used on humans.