When you mention “inkjet printing” and “skin” in the same breath, the first thing that likely pops into your mind is “tattoo.” However, at the Technology Review Blog, published by MIT, a recent post details how inkjet printing is being developed to heal wounds and repair the skin.
Instead of ink, this “printing” system would use living cells in fluid form to “print” tissue onto the damaged skin. According to the post at Technology Review:
The printer has two heads, one of which ejects skin cells mixed with fibrinogen (a blood coagulant) and type I collagen (the main component of the connective tissue in scars). The other head ejects thrombin (another coagulant).
The system is in its initial experimental stages, so there’s no telling when or if it will be operational at your local hospital. Early tests with mice have been promising. The next mammalian subject is expected to be the pig, whose skin is more like human skin.