Printing Body Tissue

Scaffolds made of biodegradable materials have been used to help regrow body tissues from a few “seed” cells that are placed in the scaffold. As the cells reproduce, the scaffold degrades and eventually the new tissue displaces the scaffold. Now scientists are using rapid prototyping techniques to make more precise scaffolds in three dimensions. There is hope this will eventually enable the ability to “print” organ replacements that are grown from the persons own cellular material.

3-D Rapid Prototyping Your Future Replacement Organ – [scientificblogging.com]

In rapid prototyping, a computer controls a laser that cures a vat of polymer resin layer by layer and building up a solid object. It allows designers and manufacturers to rapidly produce a prototype component created on a CAD machine from anywhere in the world. But, it is the precision with which a material can be constructed that could be crucial to developing rapid prototyping as a tissue engineering technique.

The researchers suggest that rapid prototyping overcomes many of the limitations of conventional scaffold techniques, such as stereolithography, which etches a block of material into shape. Rapid prototyping might one day allow kidney, liver and muscle tissues to be constructed in the laboratory from a patient’s own cells with close-to-natural detail ready for transplantation.

3D Printing For New Tissues And Organs – [sciencedaily.com]

Biocompatible Materials For Rapid Prototyping – [sciencedaily.com]

Rapid prototyping (RP) of medical devices and custom-made prosthetic implants is also an area of growing interest and subject to intensive research during the last decades. The unique advantages of layer additive manufacturing open the way for design and development of multi-tasking functional tools with a wide range of applications from dentistry to regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. The current materials of choice for RP are metals, ceramics and limited range of biocompatible polymers. Photopolymers are most attractive for biomedical applications offering mechanical properties versatility and unlimited options in functionalization.

New review on organ printing

Organ printing could dramatically enhance and transform the field of tissue engineering by enabling large-scale industrial robotic biofabrication of living human organ constructs with “built-in” perfusable intraorgan branched vascular tree. Thus, organ printing is a new emerging enabling technology paradigm which represents a developmental biology-inspired alternative to classic biodegradable solid scaffold-based approaches in tissue engineering.

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