Once upon a time, the human mind dreamt of the plug-and-play human body. Here is the outcome of her dream. Mission accomplished!
Scientific Masterminds have created a 3D printer that creates human muscles and tissues that can actually replace real ones.
A team of Researchers at Wake Forest University in North Carolina claims that they have created a 3D printer. This printer can produce organs, tissues, and bones that can theoretically be implanted into living humans.
The research group’s work was published in the scientific journal-Nature Biotechnology.
According to it, the researchers’ printer acts like most 3D printers do.
The technology used by the 3D printers:
- It uses a computer-controlled nozzle to extrude layers of materials in a very precise pattern.
- These layers eventually harden and produce whatever you’re trying to print.
- The beauty lies in the fact that unlike most printers, which put down layers of molten plastic or metal, Wake Forest’s printer lays down Hydrogels—water-based solutions containing human cells. (Courtesy:qz.com)
How the printer functions:
The university’s printer has multiple nozzles.
Some extrude hydrogels, others extrude biodegradable materials.
These biodegradable materials are used to give the tissue their printing structure and strength.
It is when the supporting materials dissolve and tissue finishes incubating in the machine, then that it can be potentially implanted into a person.
The researchers ran their three-dimensional scans on human ears, jawbones, and muscles in order to create digital templates for their printer.
On whom the real experiment was done:
They then printed out an ear-shaped piece of cartilage, a muscle, and a piece of a jawbone. They then implanted them in mice.
The structure of the university’s printer allows it to print out tissues that can accommodate blood vessels. This means they can receive the oxygen and nutrients that cells need to survive.
This marked achievement has been a big sticking point for many of the 3D printers that have tried to print living tissue in the past. According to the research paper, the school’s printed products showed no signs of necrosis, or cells dying in the tissue.
The Scientific mind will not stop here:
“Future development of the integrated tissue-organ printer is being directed to the production of tissues for human applications.
It also aims to build more complex tissues and solid organs,” lead researcher Anthony Atala told Quartz.
Quote courtesy: iflscience.com
“When printing human tissues and organs, of course, we need to make sure the cells survive, and real function is the final test.
Our research indicates the feasibility of printing bone, muscle, and cartilage for patients. We will be using similar strategies to print solid organs.”
The logical and sound conclusion as stated through the research:
If it is found to be safe and reliable, it could be used well enough to dramatically reduce the wait-time for transplants. Moreover, it could even replace humans’ healthy organs with even better ones.
Martine Rothblatt, – founder of SiriusXM, wants to solve this and make her dream into a vision.
Yet for now, the innumerable hopeful eyes waiting for a transplant will just have to keep hoping for the best in near future.