Scientists Use Novel Ink With Calcium to 3D-Print 'Bone' With Living Cells

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Scientists from UNSW Sydney have developed a ceramic-based ink that may allow surgeons in the future to 3D-print bone parts complete with living cells that could be used to repair damaged bone tissue.

Using a 3D-printer that deploys a special ink made up of calcium phosphate, the scientists developed a new technique, known as ceramic omnidirectional bioprinting in cell-suspensions (COBICS), enabling them to print bone-like structures that harden in a matter of minutes when placed in water.

While the idea of 3D-printing bone-mimicking structures is not new, this is the first time such material can be created at room temperature – complete with living cells – and without harsh chemicals or radiation, says Dr Iman Roohani from UNSW's School of Chemistry.

"This is a unique technology that can produce structures that closely mimic bone tissue," he said, pointing to repairs of bone defects caused by accidents or cancer.

Associate Professor Kristopher Kil
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