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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

“Printing” Additional Eye Cells Using Ink Jet Printer Systems

Welcome to 2014. Researchers took a succesfull first step on generating organized sets of eye cells using ink jet printing systems. This does not mean creating eye cells from ink. It means instead using biologic processs to multiply extracted eye cells and then using the ink jet system to generate organized sets of copies that potentially could be implanted. In this first test, the newly generated cells appeared normal and capable of surviving.

Set out below are key excerpts from the ScienceDaily article:

"At the moment the results are preliminary and provide proof-of-principle that an inkjet printer can be used to print two types of cells from the retina of adult rats―ganglion cells and glial cells. This is the first time the technology has been used successfully to print mature central nervous system cells and the results showed that printed cells remained healthy and retained their ability to survive and grow in culture.

Co-authors of the study Professor Keith Martin and Dr Barbara Lorber, from the John van Geest Centre for Brain Repair, University of Cambridge, said: "The loss of nerve cells in the retina is a feature of many blinding eye diseases. The retina is an exquisitely organised structure where the precise arrangement of cells in relation to one another is critical for effective visual function."

"Our study has shown, for the first time, that cells derived from the mature central nervous system, the eye, can be printed using a piezoelectric inkjet printer. Although our results are preliminary and much more work is still required, the aim is to develop this technology for use in retinal repair in the future."

The ability to arrange cells into highly defined patterns and structures has recently elevated the use of 3D printing in the biomedical sciences to create cell-based structures for use in regenerative medicine."

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