Australians on the brink of technology to build body parts

3D printing uses machines to build body cells layer by layer from digital data.

Researchers from St Vincent's Hospital, in Melbourne, and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES), in Wollongong, are behind the medical breakthrough.

ACES Director Professor Gordon Wallace believes that within a few years it will be possible to manufacture living tissues like skin, cartilage, arteries and heart valves using cells and biomaterials.

"Using a patient's own cells to create this tissue avoids issues of