Scientists have devised a method of 3D printing living cells into a bouyant gel, which could lead to advances in tissue engineering.

In a paper, published in the journal Science Advances on Friday, a team of engineers unveiled the new 3D printing technology.

The machine pumps the living cells into a gel to create suspended objects of intricate detail.

One such example of this is a silicone jellyfish, whereas other sculptures have been made from human aortic cells and from cells grown from a patient.

The machine can print at a resolution which is 1 per cent of the width of a human hair.

The practical applications of this machine could range from flexible electronics to creating living organ tissue.

One of the lead authors on the paper, Thomas Angelini of the University of Florida, said:

It goes from being about melting certain materials and limiting yourself to structures that can't collapse while being printed to just placing those objects in 3D space wherever you want. And so long as you can push a material out of a needle—and have it be trapped by the [embedding medium]—there's no limit to what you could print with.

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