A group of researchers of the Institute for the Wake Forest regenerative medicine in the United States, said to have developed a 3D printer able to print human tissue large scale. It does so using a “ink” that blends a biodegradable plastic with human cells, and that can create tissue such as muscles, cartilage or bones.
This printer has been presented today in the journal Nature Biotechnology, and it could have been overcome two major obstacles: get tissues are able to survive and that they can continue to grow once implanted. Now they are already beginning the research necessary to start testing them on humans.
Anthony Atala, Chief Scientist of the research, says that this is the first capable of printing large scale bioimpresora tissues that could be implanted in humans. Also explains that once printed have structure, they can keep it alive for several weeks until it is finally implemented.
The secret lies in the mass
So far this type of printers were only able to print up to 0.007 inch sizes fabrics. This new model, called Integrated Tissue and Organ Printing System or ITOP, seems to have overcome these barriers by mixing the cells of muscles and cartilage, and even obtained from amniotic fluid stem cells, biodegradable plastic material.
This plastic called polycaprolactone has as its mission the keep the forms that are printed tissues while the cells are growing and rooted in organisms. You are then are degraded until only organic tissue.
As ensure their creators in his article, the ITOP you alternate plastic and organic material. This alternation between soft and hard seems to be the key that they say to be getting the tissues to survive, grow and maintain the structural integrity necessary to be able to be implanted with guarantees.
In their first tests have been implanted in animals cartilage with shape of ear, bone fragments created using stem cells and muscle strips, and they say have proven that these tissues survive not be rejected by a few bodies which accept them growing blood vessels in them.
After these initial encouraging results, researchers they are started to test long-term safety his impressions. If all goes as planned, their intention is the develop soon an implantable tissue in human bodies, and revolutionize the world of prosthetics as well as we know it today.