3D-printed smartphone microscope is good enough for scientists

Your smartphone could soon be a fully functional microscope capable of examining samples as small as 1/200th of a millimeter. Australian researchers have developed a clip-on device that requires no external light or power sources to produce a clear p…
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Grown inside 3D-printed molds: new ears for children

For the first time, scientists in China have created new ears for five children using their own cells grown in a 3D-printed mold.

All five kids, between the ages of six and nine, were born with one underdeveloped ear, a condition called microtia. Though kids with microtia do tend to have hearing loss in their deformed ear, most of the time they can hear fairly well out of the other one. So, the new ears were grown for cosmetic reasons. First, the scientists made a 3D-printed model of the children’s healthy ears, then reversed it to make a mold of what the other ear would look like. Next, they collected cartilage cells from the deformed ear and grew them in the biodegradable mold for three months. Finally, they grafted the new ears,…

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These 3D-printed objects don’t need batteries to connect to Wi-Fi


One of the big tradeoffs that comes with the convenience of having smart devices run your home is the hassle of keeping them powered, either with batteries or by plugging them into the wall. But a new project devised by researchers at the University of Washington could one day help guide the creation of gadgets that don’t require any power at all to stay online. Vikram Iyer, Justin Chan, and Shyamnath Gollakota from UW figured out a way to 3D-print plastic objects with wireless capabilities baked right in – no power source or electronics necessary. The trio created a weighing…

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This 3D-printed ‘living ink’ could someday help with skin replacements

Tomorrow’s replacement skin could be 3D printed from a new ink embedded with living bacteria.

Bacteria are able to do everything from breaking down toxins to synthesizing vitamins. When they move, they create strands of a material called cellulose that is useful for wound patches and other medical applications. Until now, bacterial cellulose could only be grown on a flat surface — and few parts of our body are perfectly flat. In a paper published today in Science Advances, researchers created a special ink that contains these living bacteria. Because it is an ink, it can be used to 3D print in shapes — including a T-shirt, a face, and circles — and not just flat sheets.

Bacterial cellulose is free of debris, holds a lot of water, and…

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3D-printed bacteria ink could be used to treat burns

In a new study published today in Science Advances, researchers present a 3D-printable ink that contains bacteria and they say that depending on what species of bacteria it holds, the ink stands to have a number of useful applications. "Printing usin…
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