From entire renal systems to articulated limbs, 3D printed organs represent the future of medicine and the way in which people will be treated in the next decades. The coming of three-dimensional (3D) printers has generated an expansion of doctors’ interest in synthetic body parts meant to substitute, or even improve, human organs. Solid things are made on 3D special printers by putting using slim layers of metal or plastic, while gradually building the item. For some time, physicians have created hard implants with the help of these printers, but softer tissues, like internal organs, are harder to create because the components used for these body parts cannot resist at their own weight.
American specialists may have reduced this issue, however, by creating a technique for 3D printers and soft tissues created with them by adding a soft gel. This advanced engineering gel is placed between the layers during the productions of hard things and it reinforces the internal structure of these items. The experts in materials technology and 3D technological innovations said that the analysis has been somewhat simpler because the testing group used for their research off-the-shelf 3D devices and free programs for the application that operates these machines.
The problem with soft elements, some of them having the consistence of jelly, is that these layers cannot support their own weight and collapse when they are printed in 3D devices, said the scientists in their document. As a result, they created a way of printing the soft objects within a support for these materials. Basically, they place one layer gel within another layer of gel, this method allowing them to perfectly position the smooth content as it is being printed, layer after layer.
US scientists developed a new 3D printing technique based on suspended hydro gels, which begins with the appropriate-sized packages of reinforcing gel. The printing device, equipped with tiny needles, inserts other substances into the hydro gels based on electronic-aided 3D models. The machine support eliminates a large part of the inherent errors cased by people during the creation procedure.
After the entire structure is finished, the hydro gel is dissolved, leaving just the soft tissues that have been printed. In their assessments, the scientists created human femurs, extended coronary systems, embryonic hearts and brain parts using this innovative technique. Scientists said that this research has concentrated on heart tissues, as experts have developed anatomically correct body parts and now are going even further to insert heart cells within the 3D-created heart, offering a based to make an entire heart in the laboratory.
Not only it has a low cost, but by utilizing open-source programs, specialists have the possibility to fine-tune al printing factors, improve what they are already doing and increasing the quality of lad-generated things. The new approach has really allowed them to speed up growth of new elements and innovate the methods used in this domain. In addition, the scientists will give back to the others by publishing their 3-D printing model under open-source certificates.
Image source: Nature.com