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3D printers can be used to make a variety of useful objects by building up a shape, layer by layer. Scientists have used this same technique to "bioprint" living tissues, including muscle and bone.

Bioprinting is a relatively new technology that has advanced mostly by trial and error. Scientists are now using the laws of physics and predictive computer modeling to improve these techniques and optimize the bioprinting process. These new advances are reviewed in the June 4 issue of Applied Physics Reviews, from AIP Publishing.

The most widely used bioprinters are extrusion, inkjet and laser-based printers. Each type involves slightly different physics, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Said co-author Ashkan Shafiee, "The only way to achieve a significant transition from 'trial and error' to the 'predict and control' phase of bioprinting is to understand and apply the underlying physics."

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Category: Science