Someday 3D printing will save the world from a shortage of donor organs — heart, kidneys and other body parts you can create with the printers. Unfortunately, at the moment the printing of large organs is not possible since it requires a lot of time in the course of which living cells simply die off. Fortunately, researchers from the University of California at Berkeley figured out how to solve this problem by changing the printing method, and the use of the cryogenic chamber and robotic arm.
Instead of creating a whole organ at one time the researchers propose it to print each layer on a separate two-dimensional sheet. To prevent the death of cells, each sheet should be frozen in a cryogenic chamber — to get them there, it is proposed to use a robotic arm. Subsequently, each finished layer with living cells can impose on each other, thus creating a three-dimensional structure of the finished body.
Currently, the same results for bioprinting is mainly used to create small amounts of tissue. Problem 3D-bioprinting is that it is a very slow process, so you will not be able to print anything large, because the biological materials will deteriorate by the time when you’re finished. We propose to freeze the material during the printing process and maintain its viability.
Boris Rubinsky, Professor of mechanical engineering
The team acknowledges that this method of printing is not new, but they were the first who used it to print organs. It is noteworthy that scientists from scientists from tel Aviv University recently announced that they managed to print heart cells, blood vessels, ventricles and cells.
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