Bioprinting: The Ultimate Tool of Future Medical Science

Do you ever think of having a fast regeneration or healing factor? Ever you wish of growing back your hand like Deadpool? All this will be possible in our future with the help of Bioprinting and alternative technologies.

Bioprinting has the potential to repair damaged organs, cells, and tissues in the human body. It has the ability to build entire tissues. In the future, we can increase its scope, efficiency, and productivity to build entire organs. Good news is that we had already made artificial working Cornea with the help of Bioprinting.

Bioprinting

3d printed heart
3d printed heart

Bioprinting is a type of 3D printing, it generally utilizes the layer-by-layer method to deposit materials known as bioinks to create tissue-like structures.

It uses 3D printing–like techniques to combine cells, growth factors, and biomaterials to create biomedical parts which have natural tissue characteristics. 

It has the potential to be the next big thing in healthcare and personalized medicine.  This will provide the opportunity to generate patient-specific tissue/organ for the development of accurate, targeted and completely personalized treatments.

The human body has a dense architecture and complex cellular structure which is the problem behind the slow development of Bioprinting. Currently, It can produce living tissue, blood vessels, bone for use in medical procedures, training, and testing.

Bioprinting Processes

The bioprinting processes have many similarities to the 3D printing processes. It generally follows three steps:

Pre-Bioprinting:

This is the process of creating a 3D model based on a digital reconstruction of organ or tissue and choosing the materials(bioinks) that will be used in bioprinting. A 3D model can be created by computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

To print with a layer-by-layer approach, tomographic reconstruction(CT Scan) is done on the images. 2D images are then sent to the printer. Once the image is created, certain cells are isolated and multiplied. These cells are then mixed with a special liquefied material that provides oxygen and other nutrients to keep them alive.

3D Scanning of Jaw
3D Scanning
Bioprinting:

In this step, the liquid mixture of cells, nutrients, and bioinks are placed in a printer cartridge. The layers of material are successively added together in order to print the material. When a bioprinted pre-tissue is transferred to an incubator, this cell-based pre-tissue matures into a tissue.

Post-Bioprinting:

This process is necessary to create a stable structure from the biological material. This is done by various mechanical and chemical stimulations. Bioreactors are used to provide nutrient transport and proper environment for the growth.

Bio-Inks

Bio-ink is a material made from living cells that behaves much like a liquid, allowing people to print it in order to create the desired shape. Bio-inks are made by creating a slurry of cells that can be loaded into a cartridge and inserted into a specially designed printer. Bioprinting is impossible without the use of bioinks.

4D Bioprinting

Shocked! But Yes there is also 4D Bioprinting. In this type, we take into account the fourth dimension of time. 4D bioprinting is based on the idea that the printed 3D structures may continue to evolve over time, even after they have been printed. The structures may change their shape when exposed to the right stimulus. 4D bioprinting may be utilized for making blood vessels by taking advantage of how some biological constructs fold and roll.

Applications

Bioprinting of 3D Heart with a 3D bioprinter
Bioprinting of 3D Heart with a 3D bioprinter

The research shows that bioprinting could be used to help regenerate tissues during surgery or after injury. Researchers have used bioprinting to deposit cells into wounded skin or cartilage.

Bioprinting is used to print heart tissue, skin tissue and blood vessels among other basic tissues that could be suitable for surgical therapy and transplant.

Bioprinting technology will be used to create fully functional human organs for transplants and drug research. This will allow more effective organ transplants and safer effective drugs.

The Future

3D bioprinting contributes to significant advances in the medical field of tissue engineering by allowing research to be done on innovative materials called biomaterials. We had already been able to print fully functional artificial cornea with the help of bioprinting technology.

Scientists holding a 3D printed Cornea
3D printed Cornea

Some of the bioengineered substances are usually stronger than the average bodily materials, including soft tissue and bone. These constituents can act as future substitutes for the original body materials.

Scientists aim to print mini organs such as hearts, lungs, and livers as the potential to test new drugs more accurately and perhaps eliminate the need for testing in animals.

Rakesh Barwar
Rakesh Barwarhttps://lastdna.com/
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Last DNA. My passion for technology and biotechnology give rise to this awesome site. I write articles that can be easily understood by a majority of people, therefore making biotech simple and interesting!

2 COMMENTS

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