Saturday, May 15, 2010

Replacing Your Organs With the Biological Equivalent of Legos

MIT and Harvard biologists have created a process of re-creating human tissue modeled after the popular Danish Lego plastic toy blocks.

Cells are bound into blocks using the polymer polyethylene glycol (PEG), which hardens when illuminated. Researchers form little cell blocks and then shine a bright light on them and they harden into form. Once the LEGOS are built they load them into a pre-made cast of PDMS (a silicon based polymer widely used in the medical field) to create living human tissue. They’ve only created veins so far, but theoretically with some cell differentiation and a larger mold they could create entire organs.

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