Bioinks containing stem cells are being used to 3D print living tissues that can be inserted into the body and provoke a damaged joint to heal itself. This is part of an EU-funded Horizon 2020 project called 3D-JOINT.

Arthritis hands

Professor Jos Malda is working with such 3D bioprinting in his lab at the University Medical Centre Utrecht in the Netherlands. As part of a project called 3D-JOINT (funded under Horizon 2020), his team is working to make bioprinted tissues that can be implanted into a living joint to replace the damaged part. These would eventually mature into a tissue that is the same as the original healthy cartilage.

The future of bioprinting looks bright. Experts think bioprinting will have two main applications. Firstly, as a source of new tissues and organs in regenerative medicine. Secondly, as a tool to better understand human disease and to test the safety and efficacy of new drugs targeting such diseases.

Full story in Horizon Magazine