3D Bioprinting Opens New Horizons in Regenerative Medicine
New kidneys, skin, liver, restored vision – does that sound like a miracle to you? No, it is a nowadays reality that offers new possibilities of developing regenerative medicine therapies aimed to restore diseased tissues and organs. 3D bioprinting, a game-changer that expands boundaries of this field, is a process that manages to create live functional human tissues outside the body.
Of course, the process of growing organs for replacement is extremely challenging, especially in case if it is necessary to grow solid organs instead of tissue. Scientists face many technical issues that require an efficient solution to make mass production possible. Also, no one can say for sure that this discovery will be implemented into a clinical therapy as soon as possible as monitoring institutions will allow usage of such organs only in case if they receive 100% reliable evidence that there is no risk for the patients.
Imagine possible future with usage of this technology
Pallid statistics admits that 22 people die every day longing for organ transplantation. But in future where 3D bioprinting is well-developed, this sad statistics will be changed. When a patient needs transplantation, he goes through the certain procedure: stem cells are taken from a patient’s body and received material is used for comprising a needed organ as stem cells can transform into any kind of cell. After that, new-built organ cells are assembled layer by layer in a bioprinter; a completed organ stays in a body simulator for a certain period of time until it is ready for transplant. As a result, the patient receives a sound organ created from his own cells. It means that his immune system won’t reject it.
That is the most efficient solution for the issue of lack of transplanted organs. Authorities search for the ways of solving this problem allowing organ donation, and in some countries, corpse transplantation is allowed. However, it does not satisfy the need for organs.
What are the benefits and promising outlooks of this direction of regenerative medicine?
- It is not a new dawn of the technologies. First transplantations took place 10 years ago in Wake Forest Institute.
- It becomes accostable. New bioprinter BioBots 1 costs no more than $10,000 and gives scientists a possibility to test new techniques of creating tissues.
- The research is not limited to a certain body organ or tissue – there are 35 body parts that can be duplicated with the help of
- Lab studies show promising results – there are known cases of successful transplantation of thyroid glands and creating of living liver tissue models.
What are the necessary components of successful accomplishment of bioprinting?
First and foremost, it is necessary to develop a precise digital model of an organ you want to create. It is especially evident when the task is to grow a complicated organ with all necessary components and systems. It is possible with the help of thorough 3D scanner that considers all peculiarities of the patient’s anatomy. Collected results are sent to the printhead that creates the needed tissue.
Scientists and developers have presented a printing system that can create bones, tissues, blood, and nerve systems according to the collected data.
Good news is, 3D printers become more affordable today. With their help, it is possible to print cars, plane parts, and houses – main challenge of this way of printing is a lack of specialists able to create 3D models of objects. One of the promising ways of solving this issue is 3D Print Exchange.
It is a website where users can browse, download, and share biomedical 3D print files along with tutorials and educational materials. With the help of this platform, scientists can transfer data from scanning into the models in 3D printer file formats. Thanks to this, scientists with the lack of technical skills will be able to pay attention to a medical aspect of the research instead of struggling with models.