A team of researchers at the University of Buffalo demonstrate a breakthrough development in 3D printed human tissue and organs. The development is nothing short of a science fiction. For the apparatus, a machine dips into a shallow tub of translucent yellow goo and comes out in the form of a life-sized hand.
In fact, using conventional 3D printing methods, it would take six hours to create the hand. This demonstrates phenomenal advancement toward 3D printed human organs that could eventually help save innumerable lives due to the shortage of donors.
“Interestingly, the new technology is 10 – 50 times speedier than industry standard, and it mainly works with large samples that previously have been difficult to achieve, “stated the co-lead author of the study.
The study is published in the journal Advanced Healthcare Materials.
Meanwhile, the research on 3D printing for human tissues is centered on a method called stereolithography. The method uses jelly-like materials called hydrogels, which are used to create contact lenses, diapers, and scaffolds in tissue engineering among other things.
Importantly, the application of 3D printing in tissue engineering is of significance. In order to establish this, the research team spent major part of its effort optimizing it to achieve the incredible level of fast and accurate 3D printing technique.
Elaborately, the method allows rapid printing of centimeter-sized hydrogel models. This significantly reduces partial distortion and cellular injuries caused by longer exposure to environmental stresses that are commonly seen in conventional 3D printing methods.
Moreover, the method is specifically suitable for printing cells attached with blood vessel networks, say researchers. Currently nascent, the technology is expected to be a central element of production of 3D printed human tissue and human organs.