Artist and researcher Amy Karle is collaborating with researchers at the California Academy of Science and Autodesk to develop a method to 3D print a human arm using stem cells. Karle created a 3D printed scaffold and a culture medium that will direct the stem cells to grow into the structure of the bones in the arm. Her methods could be essential for future limb transplants, which could be grown in a lab rather than obtained from a donor.
Scientists at Rutgers and Stanford Universities, led by Prabhas V. Moghe, created a new stem cell-based technology that may treat Parkinson’s disease. Their technology utilizes a 3D scaffold containing a tiny polymer that, compared to 2D environments, allows for the growth of stem cells in all directions. This represents a significant innovation from current stem cell applications as it creates a more accurate representation of how the stem cells are configured in the brain. Facilitating communication between the brain and the transplanted stem cells resulted in a more effective transplant.