Your Old Inkjet Printer Could Aid Burn Victims

Looking for a place to toss your old inkjet printers? A team of scientists working to create human tissue may have a good use for them. Inkjets that are ten years old, they say, are perfectly suited to create sheets of human skin and other tissue that one day may help burn victims and even manufacture organs.

Vladimir Mironov, director of the Shared Tissue Engineering Laboratory at the Medical University of South Carolina, is one of the scientists who has rigged Hewlett-Packard and Canon inkjet printers to shoot out proteins instead of ink, and to capture tissue on specialized gel instead of paper. Older printers work well because their spray nozzles have larger holes and are less likely to damage fragile cells. It would be great to have a use for these old printers instead of searching for a place to recycle them safely.

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