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This 3D printer creates human muscles and tissues that could actually replace real ones – Quartz

by • February 14, 2016 • No Comments

We’re getting nearer to the plug-and-play human body.
Researchers at Wake Forest University in North Carolina say they have created a 3D printing device that can turn it into organs, tissues, and bones that may theoretically be implanted into living humans. The group’s work was published in the scientific journal Nature Bioinnovation in these times.
According to the paper, the researchers’ printing device acts much like most 3D printing devices do, via a computer-controlled nozzle to extrude layers of materials in a quite exact pattern. The layers a few day harden to turn it into whatever you are attempting to print. But unlike with most printing devices, that put down layers of molten plastic or metal, Wake Forest’s printing device lays down what are called hydrogels—water-based solutions containing human cells. The university’s printing device has multiple nozzles, a few extruding hydrogels, others biodegradable materials that are utilized to donate the tissue it’s printing structure and durablity. When the supporting materials dissolve and tissue finishes incubating in the machine, it may be potentially implanted into a person.A piece of 3D-printed jawbone and ear cartilage.(Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine)The researchers ran three-dimensional scans on human ears, jawbones and muscles to turn it into digital templates for their printing device. They and so printed out an ear-shaped piece of cartilage, a muscle, and a piece of a jawbone, and implanted them in mice. The structure of the university’s printing device allows for it to print out tissues that can accommodate blood vessels, meaning they can obtain the oxygen and nutrients that cells need to survive. This has been a sticking point for most of the 3D printing devices that have tried to print living tissue in the past. According to the paper, the school’s printed products showed no signs of necrosis, or cells dying in the tissue.

“Future development of the integrated tissue-organ printing device is being directed to the production of tissues for human applications, and to the assembling of additional hard tissues and solid organs,” lead researcher Anthony Atala told Quartz. “When printing human tissues and organs, of course, we need to manufacture certain the cells survive, and function is the final test. Our research indicates the feasibility of printing bone, muscle, and cartilage for patients. We can be via much like strategies to print solid organs.”Wake Forest’s 3D printing device in action.(Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine)It is worth noting that the Wake Forest researchers aren’t the only ones researching bioprinting like this. Todd Goldstein, a researcher at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research at Northwell Health, told Quartz that “this is not completely novel.” Goldstein is already working on 3D printing human cells to use in implantable tracheas. But he said the research’s true novelties lie in the fact that it’s combined the entire system into one machine, and the high end of the results it’s getting. He suggested considering of it this way: “If you have a quite great baker that can come up with an awe-inspiring sactually-layer cake—he has no new ingredients, but the way they put it together created it taste quite great.”
A Philadelphia-based startup, BioBots, released a $10,000 3D printing device in September that prints human tissue. The company’s CEO, Danny Cabrera told Quartz that Atala is on BioBots’ scientific advisory board. “Nothing’s totally various here, Cabrera said, “the main difference is that this one has four heads.”
Whilst it’s become increasingly apparent that 3D printing hasn’t proven overly useful for the average consumer, it’s revealing real promise in other areas. The initially 3D-printed drug was approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration last August, and doctors in Spain managed to that successfully install a 3D-printed titanium ribcage on a patient in September. It remains to be seen whether Wake Forest’s printed organs—or anyone else’s—can be tested on actual humans anytime soon. The researchers said in their paper that their innovation may need “further development” preceding its organs may be tested on a human. The US FDA previously told Quartz that it has not approved any 3D printing devices for any internal human use, but it has “significant scientific interest in this topic.”
The logical conclusion of bioprinting research, if discovered safe sand reliable, may well be to dramatically reduce the wait-time for transplants, and maybe actually replace humans’ healthy organs with actually advantageous ones. It is a fewthing that Martine Rothblatt, the discovereder of SiriusXM, is in addition attempting to solve. Rothblatt “has to my knowledge a ideal track record in producing [her] visions real,” Google futurist Ray Kurzweil told the Washington Post. But for now, and for the near upcoming, the tens of thousands of individuals waiting for a transplant can only have to store hoping their number is up upcoming.

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