Dr. Yi Hong has recently received an R21 grant from the National Institutes of Health for $211,000 so that he can research and develop techniques for creating 3D printed blood vessels. In particular, he will be attempting to create a material that will be elastic enough to form into blood vessels and versatile enough to be mixed with existing cells to prevent the need for surgical manipulation.
Dr. Hong isn’t the first person to attempt this, as both teams at Shanghai University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have successfully printed blood vessels. However, Dr. Hong is the first to try and develop a viable option for use in children who has vascular defects.
Because children are fast growing, they often can’t receive donor grafts to correct their vascular defects, leading to the need for multiple surgeries or the possibility of heart defects. With a 3D printed blood vessel transplant, the blood vessels would grow with them at the appropriate rate because they would be crafted from their own cells.
Saunders, Sarah. “UTA Professor Receives NIH Grant to Make 3D Printed Blood Vessels for Children.” 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing. N.p., 10 Apr. 2017. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.