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Maybe 3D printing is not new, but it seems to be transforming science, especially in the field of regenerative medicine.
Specifically, it addresses the need for tissues and organs suitable for transplantation — which would be the answer to countless prayers. Until that goal is realized, the development of this technology has far-reaching applications not only in medicine but in research, drug discovery, and toxicology as well.
In London, a two-year old girl recently received a kidney transplant from her father and the surgery was a success, thanks to the ability of surgeons to reproduce a model of her father’s kidney and her abdomen using a 3D printer. The model of the donor father’s kidney was recreated in the exact dimensions and density of his real kidney, which allowed the surgeons to better plan and practice the operation with increased safety and efficacy.
Three-dimensional printing, known in the manufacturing industry as “additive manufacturing,” has been around for over two decades. It is an additive process where successive layers of material are distributed to form 3D shapes. In contrast to non-biological printing, 3D bioprinting involves multiple complexities such as choice of materials, cell types, growth and differentiation factors, and technical challenges related to sensitivities of living cells and the construction of tissues.
Read full, original post: 3D Bioprinting Could Speed Organ Transplant Process