Photo by Pujohn Das/ Space10
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Not only does 3D printing make possible a chance to create new products in design industry, it also opens the medical profession to new horizons as the innovation allows physicians, scientists, and R&D team to finally devise living tissues and human organs.
In 2011, Invetch, an Australian company specialised in innovative design, was successful in designing the world’s first 3D Bioprinter for its customer Organovo. The new printer can print human tissues by combining materials or living cells to create 3D pictures. This allows doctors to repair human tissues or apply the innovation to print human organs for transplantation.
Since its first introduction in 2111, 3D Bioprinting has gained more attraction and been developed continuously. In 2014, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in, Massachusetts, USA, experimented on making artificial arteries with 3D Bioprinters. That was the first time to create the artery prototype with agarose. Dr. Ali Khademhosseini, the leader of researchers at BWH, explained about this experiment that it was the combination of the advanced 3D Bioprinting technology and natural materials to create human organs.
In 2015, only a few months after the experiment at BWH, it was reported that the French cosmetics manufacturer L’oreal joined hands with Organovo to develop the 3D Bioprinter for printing human skin. The cooperation was aimed for testing the product on the printed skin instead of testing on human or animals like before. The “new” skin was also expected to replace the traditional way of manufacturing skin for testing which acquires the skin, by donation of the patients coming to have a plastic surgery, to grow on the tissue. The old method takes a week to have the skin, which is too slow and insufficient to meet the demand for using in the product tests. With the 3D Bioprinting innovation, L’oreal is now testing its products more effectively. Moreover, the technology even facilitates dermatological tests on the treatment of skin burns.
Apart from the contributions of 3D Bioprinting to human tissues and organs, it is also very useful for a new way of producing a new organ for those who lost one. Bespoke Innovation, a Californian company, uses 3D Bioprinting to make artificial arms. Likewise, William Root, a student at Pratt Institute, New York, invented Exo-Prosthetic legs which are so light and looking so real. The invention is a good alternative to make a beautiful leg, easier to manufacture at lowered cost, unlike the artificial legs being used today.
Optimising the benefits of 3D Printing, the medical profession has more treatment alternatives through the use of 3D Bioprinting technology, e.g. making tissues, human organs, or even artificial organs. With such amazing success, it is not surprising why the 3D Printing has been regarded widely as the groundbreaking innovation in the world of manufacturing today.
Photo by Pujohn Das/ Space10
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