Thursday, February 23, 2006

3D Images of Nanostructures

It is the world’s first electron microscope for simultaneously and automatically investigating in three-dimensions the phase content, crystallographic texture, and crystal interfaces of materials.

This allows scientists to see the inner structure of nanomaterials, biological matter, and high-performance steels, in ways that other microscopic procedures cannot - and in full 3D.

The 3D gradient of the crystallographic orientations in an intermetallic iron-aluminium specimen.

Max Planck Society - Press Release

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Precipitation From the Virtual World

The Eyebeam OpenLab has been experimenting with making solid models from figures created in the Second Life online world.

They evidently import the virtual objects into Maya then print it on a 3D printer.

They don't give many details but promise that they will tell all in an upcoming book.

MAKE: Blog: What a 3D Printer can't do...

Monday, February 06, 2006

Ink-jet printing of living tissue

Charles Choi

Three-dimensional tubes of living tissue have been printed using modified desktop printers filled with suspensions of cells instead of ink. The work is a first step towards printing complex tissues or even entire organs.

"This could have the same kind of impact that Gutenberg's press did," claims tissue engineer Vladimir Mironov of the Medical University of South Carolina.

Many labs can now print arrays of DNA, proteins or even cells. But for tissue engineers, the big challenge is creating three-dimensional structures. Mironov became interested when Thomas Boland of Clemson University, also in South Carolina, told Mironov how he could print biomaterials using modified ink-jet printers.

The printers are adapted by washing out the ink cartridges and refilling them with suspensions of, say, cells. The software that controls the viscosity, electrical resistances and temperature of the printing fluids is reprogrammed and the feed systems altered.

To create 3D structures, Boland and Mironov used a "thermo-reversible" gel recently developed by Anna Gutowska at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. The non-toxic, biodegradable gel is liquid below 20 °C and solidifies above 32 °C.

The team has done several experiments using easily available tissues such as hamster ovary cells. By printing alternate layers of the gel and clumps of cells onto glass slides, they have shown 3D structures such as tubes can be built up.

Mironov and Boland hope it will be possible to print the entire network of arteries, capillaries and veins that nourish organs. But to keep cells alive, the organs would have to be completed within a couple of hours and a growth medium circulated through the fragile new vessels.

New Scientist Breaking News - Ink-jet printing creates tubes of living tissue