Published in Medtech. There have been major breakthroughs in bioprinting in recent months. Nafisa Akabor looks at South African leaders in their field.
Bioprinting, says professor of Clinical Pharmacy at North West University (NWU) Lissinda du Plessis, is the spatial patterning of living cells and other biologics. Just as with 3D printed plastics, bioprinters stack layers of materials to create structures, either from a substance that can be used to grow living tissues around or from live cells themselves. In the US, for example, a team from Rice University recently built a functioning lung sac using a hydrogel material.