The first thought of 3D printing is construction material, blueprints, and even some innovative ideas about printing physical material. This thought of 3D printing has been re-invented over the past 3-5 years and has been making waves across the world. Major printer manufacturers are lining up to reinvent this type of printer and technologically advance its features. The possibilities of 3D printing are endless with the future unfolding. Even though still at its infancy state, there are some companies and technology enthusiasts which have decided to take 3D printing to another level. This next level could change the way how medical practice is done, save lives, and give humanity a much-needed foothold on life.
The new level of 3D printing which we speak of is a 3D printer which can print body tissue. Yes, you did read correctly, a 3D printer which can print human body tissue. Impossible, you say? Well that is what many said when the first person discovered the world is not flat or that space is impossible, but it is now a reality. There so many discoveries and unthought of inventions that lay within human beings. The untapped potential within society is only the beginning of our potential. 3D printing is now tailoring the impossible to now being possible. 3D printing of human tissue will essentially change the makeup of the medical industry and how tissue replacement is done.
This 3D printer was originally designed to build therapeutic biomaterials. With recent enhancements, this printer has printed test materials. The test materials that this printer is capable of printing is so complex and precise in its product that they closely resemble human tissue. One of the most remarkable features of human tissue is its complexity. Complexity in the design, function, and capabilities is what makes human tissue so hard to replicate. For this reason, when it comes to replacing tissue, the only replacement in previous years has been getting tissue from a donor. If this printer can pass the test of its products being able to not only have the complexity of human organs, but then to function the same, then this printer will essentially change the way how we currently go about replacing tissue.
Many people that need transplants and other body tissues could get immediate treatment and not have to wait on a donor list, someone to qualify, or run the risk of losing their lives. Revolutionizing the health industry is something that is often slow and coming, but when there is innovation to bring about that change, it is always worth the effort. Replacing human tissue depending on the need for that part could be at the cost of someone else’s life or even if not costing the other person their life, putting them at risk due to surgery. Eliminating this need is not only a desire, but also a requirement that this 3D printer can possibly solve.
Ali Khademhosseini, which is a professor at UCLA is leading the charge with this technology and is certain of its capabilities. According to Professor Khademhosseini, its about changing the approach which allows them the ability to build complex biocompatible structures from various materials. The brains behind the 3D printer is two components which allows it to create the complexity needed to achieve what other 3D printers cannot currently do. The first component is a custom-built microfluidic chip. This chip is the brains behind the flow of fluid into micrometer-sized channels. Each of the inlets that Is printed with different material. Within the microfluidic chip is over a million mirrors which move independently. This gives the function of being able to mix, pump, sort, or control biochemical environments. All of the aforementioned components work together. This process of functions cohesively working is called “automated stereolithographic bioprinting”.
Automated Stereolithographic bioprinting uses the mirrors in the microfluidic chip to redirect light on to the surface that is being printed. Due to the intensity of the light, it allows the printer to trace the object that is being printed. The intensity of the light cause molecular bonds that are formed called hydrogel bioinks which are used in tissue engineering. The molecular changes cause the organ to firm and extends. This is the same type of function which is done in human tissues whether it be lungs, liver, heart, kidney, or muscle.
The team at UCLA first started this project creating pyramids then rapidly realized that the potential of this product. So far, the team has built tumors and muscle tissue. These tissues that were 3D printed also come with their network of blood vessels. Excluding the muscles, the tumors are slatted to be used as biological models which in studies to treat cancer. Needless to say the potentials for this printer is not only needed, but also shows the direction that technology is going in the future. It Gurus Of Atlanta is the premier Microsoft partner of choice that will follow up to ensure that any innovations and changes in technology is captured and brought to focus for our audience.
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