/Scientists create the first ever synthetic human tongue using 3D printing

Scientists create the first ever synthetic human tongue using 3D printing

Summary: Scientists claim to have created the first ever synthetic tongue using 3D printing. The ‘biometric tongue’, developed in the UK, mimics the elasticity, wettability and unique rough texture of a real human tongue with its synthetic silicone structure.

Original author and publication date: Jonathan Chadwick – October 30, 2020

Futurizonte Editor’s Note: Yet another indication that the synthetic human is closer to reality that we thought.

From the article:

Experts took digital scans of real human tongues to 3D-print their artificial material, which could be used to test the oral processing properties of some foods.

It could also fight against adulteration in food and orally administered pharmaceuticals and lead to new nutritional technologies.

‘Recreating the surface of an average human tongue comes with unique architectural challenges,’ said study author Dr Efren Andablo-Reyes at the University of Leeds.’We aimed to replicate these mechanically relevant characteristics of the human tongue in a surface that is easy to use in the lab to replicate oral processing conditions.’

Hundreds of small bud-like structures called papilla give the tongue its characteristic rough texture.

This roughness, which makes our tongue feel like sandpaper when our mouth is dry, contrasts with the soft nature of the tongue’s tissue.

Together, this contrasts creates ‘a complicated landscape’ for materials scientists when trying to replicate a human tongue in the lab.

‘We focused our attention on the anterior dorsal section of the tongue where some of these papillae contain taste receptors, while many of them lack such receptors,’ said Dr Andablo-Reyes.

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