With the growing number of companies using 3D printing technology, there has been more advancement in this technology. For instance, the use of 3D bio printing in the medical sector currently. 3D bio printing is the use of 3D printing to conglomerate cells, growth elements, and biomaterials to create human organs that are similar to bodily organs.
This technology embraces layer-by-layer procedure to deposit materials called Bio-inks to fabricate tissue like organs. In 2003 is when the filing of the first patent of 3D bio printing technology in USA and later accepted in 2006.
Procedure of 3D Bioprinting
For a successful 3D bio printing, you have to follow the following procedures. They include:
- Pre-Bio printing
- Bio printing
- Post-Bio printing
This procedure is whereby you generate a design the printer will be able to produce after selecting the materials. During pre-bio printing, you should follow these steps.
- To begin with, you have to acquire the organ biopsy. You have to use either computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging in order to have the biopsy.
- The organ biopsy obtained is typically a two dimensional image. That you send to the printer for formation.
- Then process the image with the printer then the required materials such as the cells and they are to be alive.
In this stage, you need putting the Bio-ink to the printer’s sealed unit and deposit them with the patients’ organ images. Organs like kidney and liver tend not to have the important and essential features to the human body. These features are necessary to transport nutrients and oxygen to all parts of these organs. These features include:
- Functioning Blood Vessels.
- Tubes essential to collect urine.
3D bio printing techniques do not assure stable and viable cells during creation of the organ prototype. Several methods have embraced 3D cell bio printing such as:
- Magnetic bio printing
- Direct cell extrusion
This stage is the most important in 3D bio printing. For proper maintaining of the organ prototype, you need chemical and mechanical stimuli. These stimuli enable redesigning and development of the model.
By use of a bioreactor the vascularization and development of the tissues. This may enable a successful organ transplant. Bioreactor provide the following:
- Necessary nutrient carriage system.
- Generate mini-gravity surroundings.
There are different bioreactors with specific uses like compression bioreactor is useful for tendon tissue.
3D Bio Printers
All 3D bio printers have specific constituents. Currently, there are a number of 3D bio printers under manufacture but they are still under investigation. These printers produce unique ways of 3D bio printing such as:
- Micro valves Printing
- Tissue Section Printing
- Inkjet Printing
- Laser Printing
- Extrusion Printing
Many manufacturers are embracing use of Inkjet bio printer more than other bio printers have. The most common bio printer is NovoGen MMX bio printer manufactured by Invetech and Organovo.
This bio printer has two print heads that have various functions. The first print head is responsible for insertion of the cell bio ink while the second print head is for dropping scaffolds, hydrogel or maintenance matrix.
3D bio printers improvement present a challenge to many manufacturers such of these are:
- Print head tube tip for dispensing the cell.
- Creation of a method of regulating and locating the print head.
Application of 3D Bio Printing
Due to this technological advancement, it has come to different area of application in the medical sector. Hence, enable treatment of different illnesses. The first manufacturer to use this technique was Organovo.
The following is the areas of application of 3D bio printing.
The first time this technique came into use was when a man wrecked his bicycle and had several injuries on his face. The doctors were able to design a model similar to his initial face and later did the surgery successfully.
Many people have suffered from burning. This has become a problem to them making them to shy away from people. However, this is soon to end due to a discovery by Wake Forest University. They are creating a technique that will enable one to have new and alive cell on his or her burnt skin.
The first 3D printed skull discovery came when a woman who had a skull defect. She was suffering from skull thickening that made her lose her eyesight and motion. This procedure reduced the pressure from the woman’s brain. Hence, ability to continue with her day-to-day life with no stress.
This application has been widely helped many people with ear problems. However, the successful ear grafting took place in china when a team of surgeons produced new ears from cells of the patients. Five children who were suffering from different ear defects had new ear implants.
All the five children had a successful surgery showing the importance of 3D bio printing.
A 3D printed prosthetic jaw seems an illusion. However, this has actually become a reality. An 83-year-old woman from Belgium was the first to have a prosthetic jaw. The illness majorly took main parts of her jawbone. The jawbone creation was by use of three-dimensional technology. Later it was a successful implant, and she has gone back to her normal life.
There are other forms of application of 3D bio printing such as:
- Customization of a 3D drug distribution gadget.
- Functional designs for surgery training.
Advantages of 3D Bio Printing
- No chances of organ refusal.
- It is more quick and efficient.
- Fewer probabilities of human error.
- Reduced delay time for organ givers.
- Minimal labor required.
- Reduced organs trafficking.
Disadvantages of 3D Bio Printing
- Organs printed are expensive.
- Challenging to keep up with the proper cell conditions.
- Release of hazardous particles.
- No one wants to take responsibility if an organ does not work as presumed.
3D Bio Printing Ethical Concerns
Many Christians view 3D bio printing as defaming GOD’S creation. In addition, this technique is promoting wickedness in the world. This technology is also promoting the manufacture of non-human organs that do not have human cells or tissues.
In addition, there are no quality tests in the production of prototype human organs.
Future of 3D Bio Printing
Scientists are spending time creating a skin that you can print it to a human who has skin defections. In addition the invention of a medicine that will help when a human organ shows signs of failing. Massive printing of organs will deal with organ transplant issues.
With this current trend, many patients have been able to be beneficiaries of this technique. Hence, many countries are embracing 3D bio printing. In addition, its applications are still widening to other sectors.