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The 3-D Printer that Prints Living Cartilage Tissue

The New York Times reports on a newly designed 3-D printer able to print knee cartilage. The printer was designed by Dr. Darryl D’Lima who heads the Orthopedic Research Lab at the Scripps Clinic in San Diego. D’Lima’s goal is to, “custom-print new cartilage directly in the body to repair or replace tissue that is missing because of injury or arthritis.” The process of cartilage printing may be easier than printing of other biological parts due to its low maintenance; it requires very little nourishment from the blood and does not contain nerves. Though the process faces some challenges, such as the biodegradability of the printed material and the source of cells used for printing, it shows promise for use in cartilage replacement.

Read the article in The New York Times.