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Shapes 3D-Printed into Living Worms Could Be Future of Brain Implants

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A microscopic image shows live Caenorhabditis elegans worms with 3D-printed shapes.

Objects have been 3D-printed inside living organisms before, but this is the first time the technique has been used to make conductive circuits.

Credit: Alexandre Benedetto

A technique developed by researchers at the U.K.'s Lancaster University can print conductive circuits inside living organisms using a photonic three-dimensional (3D) printer.

Photonic 3D printers shape and turn materials conductive using lasers.

With a photonic 3D printer and an ink containing the fluorescent plastic polypyrrole, the researchers printed star and square shapes inside living nematode worms.

Lancaster's John Hardy said, "In principle, with a human or other larger organism, you could print around 10 centimeters (nearly 4 inches) in."

Hardy said conductive circuits printed inside the body could have a wide range of applications, from biomedical settings to agriculture.

From New Scientist
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