Skin Made By 3D Printing

Slap me some skin

Remember those younger days when you would fall down and scrape your elbow. After that mommy would come and kiss the boo-boo and give you a Scooby-Doo band-aid. Well, you can now kiss that idea good-bye (except for mommy kiss the boo-boo). Welcome to the advancing world of 3D printing! Now I know that whenever we talk cool devices Star Trek and 3D printing and 3D scanning services, that our thoughts jump right to the Replicator. That thing is what everyone needs for Christmas. Want some chocolate cake? Blab it and grab it, baby. But there was another cool thing on Star Trek that that doctor (what’s her name) use to use. She would wave that magic thingy over a wound and it would heal skin immediately. Well, it turns out that such a magic thingy might just be a real thingy.

It is in the works

3D printing and 3D scanning services are talking some serious wound healing business. Right now those guys in the labs with those big brains are working a printable tissue that acts like skin. One of the engineering professors at the University of Toronto who is in the know about this new technology says that the printer will print a biological ink that that has real skin cells. It is a thing called collagen, and some protein that helps heal wounds called fibrin.

Get it down to size

The difficulty with artificial skin has always been transferring the skin onto the wound.  3D printers can now print living cells directly onto the wound. The trick now is getting the 3D printer down to a size that is more manageable. In the past, these machines have been way too large for practical use. With new smaller devices, the new skin can be printed on the wound within minutes. In the past, when a person needed to replace a skin for a large wound, there would sometimes be more wound that skin available to place there. But with the new 3D printing and 3D scanning services technology, the whole wound can be covered with skin. The end result is a better and faster healing of the wound.  

3D scanning and printing Still has some work to do

Although this technology is close to fully developed, there is still some testing to do before it becomes available for broad use in the medical industry. The device that researchers and developers want to get into the hand of medical professionals is not some bulky machine that stays in the operating room. They are working on a much smaller device that uses small cartridges, like an ink cartridge that prints out skin. Once cartridges are used up, they can be replaced.  

We can all say “good-bye” to Scooby-Doo band-aids once this technology gets rolling. Mom’s job will be reduced to just a kiss on the elbow (we all know that had the real healing power, anyway).  And it will give a new meaning to the expression “give me some skin, bro.” And we will start saying things like, “Honey, have you seen where I put the skin gun?” And someday she will reply “I think I saw it next to the replicator.”

Keep reading: more articles about 3D scanning

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