As we already know, 3D technologies are being put to use in almost every aspect of manufacturing, reverse engineering, and have emerged in the medical field as well. Experimentation with 3D printing in the medical field has increased within the past few years and has coined the term Bioprinting. Bioprinting is the process of generating spatially-controlled cell patterns using 3D printing technologies, where cell function and viability are preserved within the printed construct.
Continued Research of Bioprinting
Although bioprinting still has a long way to go before it reaches practical applications in humans, there has been a lot more experimentation to get us the that point. Recently, Harvard’s School for Engineering and Applied Sciences & The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have made a breakthrough in bioprinting. They have developed a way to scale up tissue engineering by printing thick vascularized tissue structures, including stem cells, biochemical support to the surrounding cells, and circulatory channels.
This process basically allows the cells to grow fully in the printed silicone molding. Nutrients are pumped through the printed solution, just as the body does to our living cells. Different shapes of the silicone molding can effect the shape and function of the stem cells, offering multiple avenues for researchers to try different cells and functions.
Although it is just a stepping stone to future discoveries in the world of future medicine and 3D bioprinting, it is a breakthrough nonetheless. Be sure to check out Harvard’s School for Engineering and Applied Sciences & The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering for further updates on progress and future breakthroughs in the field of 3D Bioprinting.