Tissue paper organ origami biomaterial has potential cancer healing applications


In Illinois, Northwestern Medicine scientists accidentally invented bioactive “tissue papers” made from organs’ materials that can be used for wound healing and natural hormone production in cancer patients. While making a 3D printed ovary ink, one of the scientists, Adam Jakus, accidentally spilled some of the ink but when he went to clean it up, it already dried into a sheet. Jakus noticed how strong the material felt when he picked it up and thought other bioactive materials could be made from other organs as well.

“The tissue papers are made from structural proteins excreted by cells that give organs their form and structure. The proteins are combined with a polymer to make the material pliable…individual types of tissue papers were made from ovarian, uterine, kidney, liver, muscle or heart proteins obtained by processing pig and cow organs,” according to the Northwestern University press release.

Teresa Woodruff, a coauthor of the study, told Northwestern University “This could provide another option to restore normal hormone function to young cancer patients who often lose their hormone function as a result of chemotherapy and radiation.”