Some people find that hard to believe, but technological progress has reached such a level that the world already has a well-established method of 3D printing of human organs. Its essence lies in taking samples of living cells and their artificial propagation on the surface of the support structures of a certain shape. Technology seems perfect, but perfection has no limits — researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago were able to print on even without a frame. In the end, the process took much less time than usual.
As a rule, as forming the basis for organ printing uses very thin plastic strands. Fixed on their surfaces taken from human tissue samples begin to establish relationship and thereby to form the design of the future body. Subsequently, the plastic base self-destructs under different types of influences, for example under UV light.
Disadvantages of 3D printing organs
Have a well-established technology of 3D printing organs has at least three drawbacks. First, researchers are extremely difficult to determine the time when the fabric reached maturity in the end of the plastic filament can be dissolved ahead of time. Second, during dissolution of “scaffolding” can form toxic substances that can make artificial organ unsuitable for transplantation. Third, the frame may prevent the cells to form when, due to which the fabric may be formed incorrectly.
3D printing of organs continues to improve
Alternatively, plastic fibers, a team of scientists led by Professor ebony Alsberg offers the use of a block of a hydrogel consisting of a plurality of microscopic beads. These beads are quite capable to keep the ink from tissue samples in three-dimensional space without disturbing the cells to communicate with each other and receive nutrients.
As soon as the tissue reaches maturity, the hydrogel is decomposed independently, or during gentle motion. In the end, in the middle of the vessel is formed on only — using this approach, scientists have already printed the femur of a rodent and the ear.
3D printing of the heart is already a reality
Some time ago, 3D printing was applicable only in respect of small organs, and to create a full-sized heart and lungs was impossible. In 2019, the situation changed radically, because researchers from the University of California at Berkeley invented a new method of printing that involves the use of cryogenic chambers and a robotic arm. To read about the technology in our material.
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