Making tissue and organ through 3D printing could be set for an exciting advance with 'aqueous architectures', which involves printing in a specially made fluid.
Science magazine reports that Chinese researchers are seeking a move away from a solid support structure - which can be difficult to remove.
Instead, the practice would use a fluid matrix around the liquid design for an organ, and the surrounding fluid would be drained away once the organ design has been injected and set.
When this approach has been tested in the past, the fluid matrix wasn't stable enough, and so researchers are looking at using hydrophilic liquid polymers.
These are capable of forming a stable membrane and the liquid structure would even be capable of holding its shape for up to 10 days.
Meanwhile, mistakes can be corrected as needed.
Although a commercially available 3D printer was used in the researchers' early experiments to date, but when printing multiple cells they instead used a 'homemade microfluidic nozzle head'.