Cotton Candy Machines May Hold The Secret For Making Artificial Organs

cotton candy
A girl dressed up as a "smurf" eats a cotton candy as she takes part in a promotional event in the Andalusian village of Juzcar, near Malaga, southern Spain, June 16, 2011. REUTERS/Jon Nazca (SPAIN - Tags: SOCIETY ENTERTAINMENT)

Researchers have discover a new technique to mimic systems of capillaries using cotton candy machines, which could dramatically impact the field of regenerative medicine."Some people in the field think this approach is a little crazy,” professor Leon Bellan told Vanderbilt's research news site, “but now we’ve shown we can use this simple technique to make microfluidic networks that mimic the three-dimensional capillary system in the human body in a cell-friendly fashion."

Bellan added that his technique can create a 3D artificial system that can keep living cells viable for more than a week,"the analogies everyone uses to describe electrospun fibres are that they look like silly string, or Cheese Whiz, or cotton candy," the engineer explained, "so I decided to give the cotton candy machine a try. I went to Target and bought a cotton candy machine for about $40. It turned out that it formed threads that were about one-tenth the diameter of a human hair - roughly the same size as capillaries - so they could be used to make channel structures in other materials." Check out the video below to see how they create artificial human capillary blood vessels using cotton candy and gelatin.

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Juliana Barrera

Juliana Barrera started her mass communications career in the entertainment business at Estefan Enterprises, where she successfully participated in a variety of projects related to production, marketing and public relations for the company. She worked for three years as a writer and editor at La Vox Media group, the platform for an independent voice for Hispanic America. Additionally, she completed an internship at VIACOM  engaging audiences through pro-social initiatives. 

Juliana is a graduate student from Florida International University, her major is mass communications  and she has a minor in psychology. Her work has been published by HuffPost LatinoVoices, Latin Times, VOXXI, politic 365, La Opinión and others.