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It finally happened: 3D printed cells!

I’ve been wanting to do this for years, and it finally happened thanks to a collaboration with Dr. Zeyun Yu’s lab here at UW-Milwaukee.  The cells are based on a scanning electron microscope (SEM) image of my CHO cells, complete with their crazy membranes.

The SEM only penetrates the surface of specimens thus rendering them opaque- SEM images often look like they are 3d printed in plastic!

thumbnail_img4-actual-cells thumbnail_img3-3d-modelThe 3d model was created by applying some fancy computer vision algorithms to a stereo pair of SEM images- two images taken near the top with 7 degrees difference in their tilt.  It is similar to 123Dcatch but with only 2 images instead of multiple. As you can see the sides are cut off, due to the images being taken from the top- this is the main drawback of this technique.  There is some degradation, yes, but in a way it is interesting what is lost in the 3D scan.

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More cells coming soon!

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