3D-printed bone-replacement gel contains live bone cells


Presently, if a patient is missing a section of bone due to accident or disease, it has to be replaced with bone harvested from elsewhere in their body. A new cell-containing gel, however, could one day be 3D printed right into the injury, where it would then harden.
First of all, there are already a variety of experimental materials that can be placed in a cavity where bone is missing. These serve as a sort of three-dimensional micro-structured scaffolding, which cells from the adjacent bone tissue gradually migrate into. Those cells proceed to reproduce, until they eventually replace the ma