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Complex bone fractures are now treated surgically with bone grafting. It uses synthetic, cement-based materials to replace missing or damaged bones.
Fremont, CA: 3D Bioprinting, also known as bioinks, is a type of additive manufacturing that uses cells as well as other biocompatible materials as 'inks' to layer by layer print living structures that mimic the behavior of natural living systems.
Bioprinted structures, such as an organ-on-a-chip, can be utilized to study the functions of the human body outside of the body (in Vitro) in 3D. The geometry of a 3D bioprinted structure is more similar to that of a naturally occurring biological system than that of a 2D in vitro study. Forming a new organ may be more biologically relevant. It is most commonly utilized in tissue engineering and bioengineering, as well as materials science.
Popular 3D Bioprinting Techniques Producing Human Organs
Forming Artificial Bone Matrix
Swansea University in the United Kingdom has developed a bioprinting process for creating an artificial bone matrix using durable, regenerative biomaterial.
Complex bone fractures are now treated surgically with bone grafting. It uses synthetic, cement-based materials to replace missing or damaged bones. This technique has limitations as well, as these structures frequently have insufficient mechanical integrity and prevent the formation of new bone tissues.
The bioprinted bones could be printed with a durable and regenerative biomaterial made of agarose, gelatine, collagen alginate, calcium phosphate, and polycaprolactone in the exact structure required. These have the ability to fuse with a patient's natural bones over time, eventually replacing them.
Healing Burnt Skin
Wake Forest Schools of Medicine developed a printer that can print skin cells directly onto a burn wound.
Skin grafting is a common treatment for severe burns. Healthy skin is harvested from an unburned area of a patient's body during this procedure. This method can be difficult to recover from, and in some cases, there isn't enough healthy skin left on the body to use.
A patch of skin only 10 percent the size of the burn can be used to enlarge cells for 3D printing using the newly developed technique. The size and depth of the wound are determined by a scanner. The printer then absorbs this data and hypodermic, prints dermic and epidermic skin cells at the appropriate depths to cover the wound.
The researchers hope that as trials of this technological progress, they will be able to determine whether stem cells from amniotic fluid and placentas are as effective as patient skin in healing wounds.
Caring Damaged Joint
BioFAB3D, an Australian biofabrication center, has developed the BioPen, a handheld cartilage printing device. It is populated with stem cells derived from a patient's fat, which can generate and surgically implant custom scaffolds of living material into failing joints. The cartilage, like 3D printed bones, goes through a process of growth and development within the body. Despite the fact that it has only been tested on sheep so far, developers hope that BioPen will be able to accelerate functional cartilage regeneration in human patients in the future.
Surgeons will use 3D printing technology in a handheld stylus to layer the bioink into a damaged joint. The ink layers, which are made up of stem cells and specially selected growth factors within a biopolymer matrix, form a structure that a patient's reproducing cells will quickly reinforce for long-term cartilage repair.