3D pen prints stem cells during surgery

File photo (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
File photo (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

An Australian technology firm teamed up with orthopedic surgeons at St. Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne to develop a 3D printing pen that creates customized cartilage implants during surgery, IB Times reported.

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The pen uses a gel bio-ink to carry and help human stem cells survive and build layers of tissue for implants.

When doctors do a cartilage repair, it can be difficult to know exactly what shape of artificial cartilage they will need prior to surgery.

The study was published by the medical journal Biofabrication.