A new 3D bioprinter technology developed by scientists from the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine opened a great opportunity for organ replacement. Scientists say that now they can print muscles, human bones and even the whole ear by pressing a button on the 3D bioprinter.
The lack of donated tissues and organs is a big problem for many diseased or injured people in the world today. The issue is to produce these tissues and organs using 3D printer, which can lay cells down in specific patterns.
While the attempts to grow simple tissues using bioengineering methods were particularly successful, they had some drawbacks. Such tissue was quite weak to be implanted in the body and had a lack of blood vessels. As a result obtained cells got poor nutrition and oxygen from the blood and were supposed to die.
A new 3D printing system has overcome these problems by printing the net of channels throughout the tissues to deliver “food” and oxygen deeply into the cells.
The experiments were already held on mice. The printed rabbit cells having human size ear structure were implanted under the skin of mice. In two months new tissue established well and took the right shape. And what’s important that cartilage tissue and blood vessels were formed around the printed structures as well. The same experiment was also done with muscle tissue and fragments of skull bones. And again the implanted tissues maintained its structures and were surrounded by blood vessels and nerves.
There are no doubts that the new printing technique needs more testing on people. But just imagine how it will change the world if it’s a success!