Melbourne surgeons use 3D printer pen filled with stem cells to draw knee cartilage

MELBOURNE surgeons have used a 3D printer pen filled with stem cell ink to “draw” new cartilage into damaged knees, opening up a world of possibilities for human body part replacements.

The breakthrough Biopen paves the way for the Melbourne-led team eventually to repair damage to bones, muscles and tendons, and even to tissue in organs such as the heart, the liver, and the lungs.

It has been used in six sheep to repair knee injuries similar to those commonly suffered by Australian rules footballers.

St Vincent’s Hospital orthopaedic surgeon Professor Peter Choong said the technique could be adapted to treat a range of conditions in humans.

“The healing was exceptional,” Professor Choong said.

“Although we have used this primarily for cartilage, we can already see how this can be used in a variety of other clinical situations.”

The Biopen was developed by the Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery, based at St Vincent’s Hospital, the University of Melbourne and the University of Wollongong.

For further information see the whole article:  "3D cell printer tipped to be 'game changer' in preventing osteoarthritis"