3-D printed body parts come to life after animal testing
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULFeb 18, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Feb 18, 2016 12:00 am
Using sophisticated 3-D printers, researchers from the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC, have developed a technique named "Integrated Tissue and Organ Printing" (ITOP) which develops living replacement tissue and organs for transplantation into potential human patients.
The researchers have implanted 3-D printed structures consisting of bone, muscle and cartilage into animals, and they all functioned normally, the BBC reported. The new technique helps the team to "3-D print a tissue riddled with micro-channels, rather like a sponge, to allow nutrients to penetrate the tissue." Anthony Atala, the senior author of the article, stressed that the novel tissue and organ printer is an important advancement in 3-D organ implantation.
"It can fabricate stable, human-scale tissue of any shape. With further development, this technology could potentially be used to print living tissue and organ structures for surgical implantation," Atala said. Developed over a 10-year period at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the systems used bio-degradable and plastic-like materials to design the tissue shape and water-based gels, including the cells. Tissue engineering aims to solve the shortage of donated tissues available for transplants. "The precision of 3-D printing makes it a promising method for replicating the body's complex tissues and organs. However current printers based on jetting, extrusion and laser-induced forward transfer cannot produce structures with sufficient size or strength to implant in the body," the medical center reported. The study was published in the medical journal Nature Biotechnology.