Printing New Skin: Saving Lives with Ink Jet Printers [VIDEO]

By modifying an ink jet printer and growing skin cells from a patient’s body, an Army research lab has developed an amazing treatment for severe burns: printing new skin.

Once the patient’s skin cells are in a sterile ink cartridge, a computer uses a three dimensional map of the wound to guide the printing.

“The bio-printer drops each type of cell precisely where it needs to go,” explains Kyle Binder, a biomedical scientist at the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine‘s Wake Forest lab. “The wound gets filled in and then those cells become new skin.”

Special thanks to the National Defense Education Program for providing this insider’s view of every day work undertaken by Defense Department scientists and engineers. For more awesome science, check out the LabTV website, or visit Lab TV on Facebook and Twitter!

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9 Responses to Printing New Skin: Saving Lives with Ink Jet Printers [VIDEO]

  1. Paramvir Singh says:

    This is unbelievable but possible go ARMY!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. James McEnanly says:

    Could this technique be used after skin cancer surgery?

    • John Ohab says:

      I have forwarded along your question, and I hope we can get an answer to you soon.

      Thanks for checking out the blog!

      ~John from the AwS Team

    • John Ohab says:


      Here is a response from Dr. Anthony Atala, Director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine:

      “While this treatment will first be tested in patients with new burns, it’s possible that it could also be used to treat scarring from previous burns — by removing the scarred tissue and rebuilding skin. Other potential uses include for diabetic foot ulcers or for rebuilding skin after surgery for skin cancer.”

  3. Chuck Z says:

    Will/can this be used to replace skin grafts that have adhered to the muscle?

  4. Alekzar79 says:

    go ahead Army. GIs all over the world send their best for your research.a mean of missed organs and extremities is also needed!!!

  5. Jake says:

    Interesting stuff. Similar to this:

  6. Locksmith says:

    Printing new skin? That’s so awesome! Thank you so much! I had 3rd degree burns over 50% of my body after a gasoline explosion in my garage and I’m going to learn everything I can about this form of regenerative medicine.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Video in this article shows that how to print new skin by using ink cartridge. It is amazing research. But they did it and prove it. So it is shown that ink cartridge is also useful to print a new skin.