Demonstrating a new method for fabricating three-dimensional living biological structures, researchers at University of Tokyo’s Institute of Industrial Science (IIS) created a 5-millimeter tall doll composed of living cells.
In an announcement made on January 22nd, the researchers said they created the tiny figure by cultivating 100,000 cell capsules — 0.1-millimeter balls of collagen, each coated with dozens of skin cells — together inside a doll-shaped mold for one day. After the cell capsules had coalesced to form the doll-shaped mass of tissue, it was placed in a culture solution, where it survived for more than a day according to the report.
The researchers, led by IIS professor Shoji Takeuchi, also successfully tested the bio-fabrication method with human liver cells. According to Takeuchi, the technique can be used to create bodily organs and tissues with complex cellular structures, which may prove useful in the fields of regenerative medicine and drug development.
The overall shape can be controlled by changing the mold,” said Takeuchi, who expressed a desire to combine multiple types of cells to create a complex system that functions as a living organism.
More info can be in this pdf which can downloaded from the IIS site: more.