Print­ing re­place­ment hu­man or­gans gets a step closer

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - 3D TECHNOLOGY -

IT gi­ant Hewlett Packard thinks the world mar­ket for 3D prin­ters and re­lated soft­ware and ser­vices will grow from US$2.2bn in 2012 to $11bn in 2021. In turn, ex­perts from the Amer­i­can mar­ket re­search company, In­ter­na­tional Data Cor­po­ra­tion (IDC), are as­sum­ing that this year, 67 per­cent more 3D prin­ters are go­ing to be sold than in the pre­vi­ous year.

The med­i­cal field is an area of ap­pli­ca­tion with great po­ten­tial – all the way to the idea of cre­at­ing en­tire or­gans with 3D prin­ters in the fu­ture.

It is not sur­pris­ing that 3D prin­ters will play an im­por­tant role at Novem­ber’s Com­pamed trade fair in Düs­sel­dorf.

As a joint ef­fort, sci­en­tists of the univer­si­ties of Har­vard, MIT, Syd­ney and Stan­ford have put to­gether a com­pre­hen­sive re­search re­port that ex­perts con­sider a great leap in the field of med­i­cal 3D print­ing.

By their own ac­count, the study rep­re­sents a break­through of how 3D tis­sue with blood ves­sels can be printed. The sup­ply of blood is cru­cial for the func­tion of or­gans, en­sur­ing a suf­fi­cient sup­ply of oxy­gen as well as re­mov­ing waste and toxic sub­stances from cir­cu­la­tion.

In the re­port, a so­lu­tion is de­scribed to sci­en­tists on how blood ves­sels can be made with a 3D printer. For this, a printer is used that can print the small­est fi­bres pos­si­ble, con­nected with each other. This type of print­ing almost cor­re­sponds to the ves­sel struc­ture of a hu­man or­gan.

Sub­se­quently, the fi­bres will be coated with hu­man cells and a spe­cial pro­tein that is sup­posed to stim­u­late cel­lu­lar growth.

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