The future of medicine is in personalisation and the new innovations are only proving that correct. In recent research by Terasaki Institute, where researchers took a step closer to 3D printing of living tissues, have produced a specially-formulated bio-ink for printing directly in the body.
Regenerating organs and tissues for each patient using their own cells has now become possible with bioprinting. Instead of artificial or metal prostheses, researchers and doctors now have something that can be integrated smoothly. The 3D printing technology can be used to produce multiple parts of the body like the orthopedic joints and prosthetics, and even parts of the skin, bone, and blood vessels.
“Developing personalized tissues that can address various injuries and ailments is very important for the future of medicine. The work presented here addresses an important challenge in making these tissues, as it enables us to deliver the right cells and materials directly to the defect in the operating room,” says Ali Khademhosseini, Ph.D., Director and CEO of the Terasaki Institute.
Currently, the majority of tissues regeneration happens in an apparatus. To put it inside the body, sometimes procedures involve making large surgical incisions, which not just is an added risk of infection, but also increase the recovery time for the patient. A collaboration among of Khademhosseini, David J Hoelzle, Ph.D., from the Ohio State University Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Amir Sheikhi, Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University Department of Chemical Engineering, have produced the specially-formulated bio-ink designed for printing directly in the body.
The technique uses a fluid-like “bio-ink” that makes a framework for living cells. “This bio-ink formulation is 3D printable at physiological temperature, and can be crosslinked safely using visible light inside the body.” said first author Ali Asghari Adib, Ph.D. In order to build the tissue, they used robotic 3D printing, which uses robotic machinery affixed with a nozzle. Bio-ink may be dispensed through the nozzle, much like an icing tube squeezes out writing gel, only in a highly-precise, programmable manner.
Another positive sign that experts see in 3D printing of tissues is that, it can put a complete stop to animal testing and animal cruelty. It would not just prevent suffering but will also be less costly.