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This Artist Is Biohacking The Body To 3D-Print Fantastical Human Bones – Co.Exist

by • July 5, 2016 • 7s Comments

DJ Pangburn07.06.166:15 AM
Synthetic bone grafts—created of calcium phosphate ceramics, or of bone harvested of patients or cadavers—are nothing new. But that is just the most effortless vision of what artificial bone can be. Working at the intersection of art, innovation, and turn it into, artist Amy Karle is in addition in the midst of her own boundary-pushing bone grafting project.
For Regenerative Reliquary, she is hacking bone cells to 3D-print intricately turn it intoed hand-bone replacements. Karle calls her project a fusion of generative art and regenerative medicine, the thought being that the two disciplines don’t have to be so philosophically and practically distinct.

Karle chose the hand turn it into for the reason, she says, it is a one-of-a-kind human showcase. She’s via human cells to study what takes place when these forms are taken out of the environment in that they are usually grown. Karle in addition hopes to discover if the bone cells can turn it into one-of-a-kind and unexpected patterns as they go. (It’s in addition possible they won’t grow at all.)
The system involves training stem cells to become bone. “Essentially, this means that if it were to be applied medically, a patient’s own stem cells may be utilized, and—if all works well—turn to bone,” says Karle, “that may be implanted into the body without rejection, since it may be of their own genetic material.”Karle is mission Regenerative Reliquary as part of an artist residency at Autodesk’s Pier 9 program in San Francisco. Tucked away within Pier 9’s creative workshops is a Bio/Nano/Programmable Matter group, that is investigating the turn it into spaces enabled by bioinnovation and nanoinnovation. Karle collaborated closely with this group and most others at Autodesk, which include the Fusion 360, Within Medical, and Ember teams.
With the assist of Autodesk Bio/Nano’s Chris Venter and Ember’s John Vericella and Brian Adzima, Karle 3D-printed the turn it into on the microscopic level via a Ember 3D printing device extruding PEGDA hydrogel, a “biofriendly blank slate” thoughtl for cell growth that disintegrates over time.
After sterilizing and preparing the 3D prints for cell growth, Karle seeded them with stem cells and allowed them to grow. These stem cells—called mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)—can differentiate into a variety of cell types. Karle and the team are hoping for bone growth, but they can’t be certain of what can take place. The cells are being fed a steady donate of nutrients and gasses, as may normally occur in the human body. It can take of two years for the cells to grow into Karle’s turn it into.

“This specific hand form I turn it intoed is not meant to go back into the body,” Karle says. “But, it does bring up quite informative applications for health care, cosmetic enhancements, and transhumanism, as well as inquiries of what it means to grow a new form outside of the body of the material of the body and the possibilities of what may be created out of human cells.”
Since she and her collaborators cannot yet complete blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and skin all in the same form, Karle is just working with the spongy part of bone. Her turn it into may incorporate the skeleton and potentially hold the bones together in a new way.What may the utility be in creating geometric or other intricately printed turn it intos? Karle believes that scientists and doctors may turn it into new forms to grow in cells and tissues for medical reasons. But she in addition thinks that “cosmeceutical” companies, plastic surgeons, and entrepreneurs may potentially turn it into new turn it intos to augment the human body. For a few individuals, having a new skeletal form, for the hands or other bones, may be gorgeous for the reason it hadn’t existed preceding. For others, they may turn it into hard bones that are never meant to go into the body at all.
“There are most individuals who want to improve on the body that they are given, for most reasons,” Karle says. “Personally, I was contemplating what I may add. I in fact have a space for a bone—my skull never futilized. But, I’m not interested in filling that. I’ve been considering if I was going to turn it into an implant for my body, it may be enhancing my clavicles, working with what I may already have and and so assembling on it to manufacture a slightly exaggerated version.”
Karle is confident that if her workflow were to be medically refined, its main benefit may be a lower risk of complications when individuals obtain bone grafts or implants. Imperfect fits may become a thing of the past, reducing operation time and money for patients. And for the reason the grafts are created of the patient’s own genetic material, a 3D print can well reduce the probability of rejection. Making such innovation open-source may in addition allow individuals to come up with the most turn it into work flow, instead of centralizing the innovation in the hands of big companies.
“The benefit of building this as art is that I can test a few of these theories and technologies, create materials and systemes and experiment outside of the scope of protocols that may have to be followed if this was to be createed as an implant,” Karle says. “This is true generative art to me. Making this as art allows for me to study and create these thoughts, find out if I can get this to work, and see what we can learn and what issues arise in the system, both technically and conceptually.”
“I hope this project serves as a catalyst to explore issues this work raises of the awe and mystery of life, synthetic biology, the next of medicine and implants, accentuating or modifying our bodies and who we want to manufacture ourselves into, and contemplating things we may manufacture of the assembling blocks of life,” Karle says.
“My ultimate hope may be to inspire researchers, hospitals, [and] biomedical, pharmaceutical, and cosmeceutical companies to take these thoughts and go on exploring this kind of work, providing a work flow that is effortless to access and follow as a departure point for their own research.
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[All Images: courtesy Amy Karle/Autodesk, 2016]

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