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Scientists spin artificial blood vessels in cotton candy machine

Written by Diane Archer

It’s hard to imagine but scientists can spin artificial blood vessels in a cotton candy machine. And, that’s just the beginning. Like 3-D printing, eventually, it could be a way to create artificial organs, including livers and kidneys, and even bones.

According to Vanderbilt News, researchers are using a $40 machine to manufacture create thin fibrous tissue like cotton candy, which they can turn into artificial blood vessels. After spinning the tissue, they pour gelatin over it.  They then dissolve the cotton candy like tissue from the resulting “hydrogel”. What remains are artificial tiny blood vessels that can substitute for heart muscle, among other body tissues.

So that the blood vessels behave like capillaries, the researchers line the blood vessels with moist human cells that are held together by an enzyme. And, much like capillaries, the network of artificial blood vessels are then channels that permit oxygen and nutrients to flow to and from them. Watch here:

If you’re interested in learning about other cool health tech innovations, we have a lot to share with you:

 

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