3D printed body parts a reality soon?
Imagine being able to print out a human tissue or even an entire organ from a printer. This fictious thought could soon one day become a reality.
Now, researchers from Carnegie Mellon may have finally found a possible way to solve organ donation challenges through 3D printing. If their work becomes fully established, organs may soon be replaced with 3D-printed substitutes, rendering transplantation obsolete in the future.
Researchers are using open-source hardware and software to print complex 3D structures out of soft proteins and “polysaccharide hydrogels” at Carnegie Mellon’s Regenerative Biomaterials & Therapeutics Group.
How they are doing it?
3D printing isn’t new in medical science as scientists have successfully printed ‘hard’ replacement parts like bones. The real challenge lies in printing soft, functional organ tissue that could be used for organ transplants.The answer? A technique, known as FRESH (Freeform Reversible Embedding of Suspended Hydrogels) in which gels are printed inside another gel via syringe.
Hydrogel is a biocompatible “gel-like” material that have been made relatively strong to keep everything together during printing and then removed by simply melting it away thus leaving the final product undamaged. The printer uses a syringe to accurately inject layers of the second gel inside the translucent support gel.