ARLINGTON -- Every day, real science gets closer to catching up with science fiction. Researchers at UT Arlington have developed a new material to promote the growth of soft tissues like muscles and blood vessels: a hydro-gel that can be infused with a person's cells and custom-fitted to the body part in need of repair using 3D printing (think of it like a flexible cast). Ain't science amazing?
The material currently used for these procedures is rigid and brittle. The new material is both stronger and completely flexible, allowing it to closely mimic the tissue it's helping to grow. The hydrogel is also biodegradable so it can dissolve into the body without needing a procedure to remove it.
While UTA is excited about the development, it still has to pass through clinical trials and approval stages before it can be offered to the public. Professor Yi Hong, the project's leader, hopes it will be ready to go within 10 years.
Click here to read more details about the hydrogel from UTA.