Of all the various industries that 3D printing technology is set out to revolutionize, not most have been impacted the way that the medical field has been through bioprinting. But in a relatively early stage of technology, scientists and researchers across the globe have been working to create and 3D print biocompatible material to improve the health of the human body. From ‘bioficial’ 3D printed thyroid implants to a functional 3D printed eardrum, it appears that bioprinting takes a revolutionary step forward on a constant basis. One research team based out of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, led by Dr. Anthony Atala, has just succeeded in creating what may be one of the largest breakthroughs in bioprinting thus far, a 3D printing device capable-bodied of generating functional replacement tissue.
But this is not necessarily the initially time that living tissue has been bioprinted, it is indeed the initially time that scientists that successfully fabricated the tissue material with the proper dimensions and durablity needed for an implant. It was key to the experimentation that the bioprinting device was able-bodied to print additional delicate and tiny structures such as blood vessels and vasculature, that may allow this printed tissue to be supplied with nutrients and oxygen post-implant. This new bioprinting process put together by the research team, that took just about 10 years to create, appears to have conquered this issue that has plagued progress in 3D bioprinting for really a few time now.
“Cells just cannot survive without a blood vessel donate that is tinyer than 200 microns [0.07 inches], that is incredibly tiny,” Dr. Atala told Gizmodo. “That’s the maximum distance. And that is not just for printing, that is nature.”
Choosing a polymer-based material, the tissue scaffolding is bioprinted and and so embedded with living cells via a non-toxic water-based gel. Microchannels are in addition implemented into the create, that are tiny and structurally sound adequate to allow nutrients and oxygen to travel throughout the structured cells. So far, the bioficial tissue has just been tested with animals, implanting a human-dimensionsd ear into the skin of lab mice. On the other hand I can’t imagine how strangely demade these poor little mice most likely looked, the research team proved that, after two months, the implanted ear yet kept shape, while cartilage tissue and blood vessels had that successfully made inside the implant.
The Wake Forest research team in addition used their stem cells to bioprint jaw bone fragments, that were in addition implanted into the lab rats. Five months after the implant into the rats, the 3D printed stem cell structures had made vascularised bone tissue, proving extreme future for use in facial reconstructions and implants for humans. With the faculty to accurately shape and bioprint structurally sound tissue, Dr. Atala and his research team have made 3D printed tissue that appears properly dimensionsd, sturdy, and functional adequate for human use.
But the research is pretty nothing short of a breakthrough, Dr. Atala does acknowledge that the team has a long way to go preceding their bioprinted parts are eager for human use. “We’re yet looking at the safety of these things,”Atala introduced. “It’s yet going to be a while—we yet have to go through a lot of testing.” The full details of the research were printed in the academic journal Nature Biotechnology, that you can access here.