The volumetric bioprinting approach forms tissue by projecting a laser onto a spinning tube with a hydrogel full of stem cells. You can easily shape the resulting tissue by focusing the laser energy on specific areas to solidify it and creating a useful 3D shape within seconds. After that, it's about introducing endothelial cells to add vessels to the tissue.
The resulting tissues currently only have a diameter of a few centimeters. This is still enough to be "clinically useful," the EPFL said, and has already been used to print heart-like valves, a complex femur, and a meniscus. It can also create interlocking structures.
While this is definitely not suitable for practical use, the applications are quite obvious. The EPFL envisions a new wave of "personalized, functional" organs produced at "unprecedented speed". This can be helpful in implants and repairs, significantly reducing the temptation to perform animal experiments. You just have to make organs to simulate effects. This could be both an ethical and a technical breakthrough.