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Jul 31, 2012Science and Technology
Mass Producing BioEngineered Tissues

Engineered skin and muscle produced like spools of tape might sound like science fiction, but it’s not. Researchers at the University of Toronto have developed a new device that may allow for the uniform, large-scale engineering of tissue. The device’s methods differ wildly from typical methods for producing engineered tissues, mixing biomaterials to create a sheet-like “mosaic hydrogel” substance into which different cells are precisely seeded. Because the cells are seeded into the hydrogel during its creation, the hydrogel -- which is conducive to cell growth -- is the perfect protective environment for the cells to grow, divide, and form tissues in. Placement of cells in the hydrogel is so precise that whole organs could theoretically be grown inside. While the researcher are still working to create complex tissues with the device, they have already teamed up with the private company MaRS Innovation to begin commercializing the device in the near future. 

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