Scientists Develop 3D Printer Capable of Printing Cartilage That Works!

3D printing cartilage It’s not so hard printing cartilage

If you haven’t heard about 3D printing, you are in for a mind boggling surprise.  Now, researchers have taken the realm of 3D printing a whole giant leap further; they have successfully tried printing cartilage. Scientists and engineers have been developing 3D printers for a while now, with companies using them to create tools, three-dimensional diagrams, or spare parts.  There are a variety of inks used in 3D printing and human tissue is now being experimented with.

Related Article: 3D Printing for All: New, Cheap 3D Printers

The 3D printing industry is only just beginning, and it is seeing exponential growth through the two main companies that hold nearly all of the patents and profits thus far; 3D Systems Corporation, and Stratasys, Inc. These two companies are on the edge of some very exciting technological developments.

The 3D tissue printer is a mix of a traditional ink jet printer and an electrospinning machine. The printed tissue seems very promising as it was:

“tested on mice and after eight weeks it had developed the structures and properties of real cartilage, demonstrating its potential use in humans.”

In the future, researchers say clinicians could develop cartilage specific to the needs of patients. For instance, an MRI scan of the body part, such as the knee, would provide a sort of blueprint and then matching cartilage could be created. Researchers are speculating that doctors in the future will have the ability of creating tissue and printing cartilage tailored to individuals so that it will be accepted into the body quicker.

Related Article: 3D Printing: The Next Revolution in Creativity

They could use MRIs or other imaging devices to create a blue print and then head to the printer to easily print off some new tissue for their patients. Printing cartilage is just the first step in personally tailored 3D printing for medicinal purposes. The possibilities of 3D printing are endless. This technology will change the future of the world and they way that economies work. Why buy something when you can print it at home? The future looks good.

Related Article: 3D? Lets go One More! 4D!

O brave new world!



3D Printer

Youtube- National Geographic Known Universe S03E06 Print Tools



IOP Science- Hybrid printing of mechanically and biologically improved constructs for cartilage tissue engineering applications

The Star- Scientists develop 3D tissue printer that prints cartilage

A Mouse with Salamander-like Cell Regeneration

The movie 127 Hours  would not have been as thrilling if the main character was an amphibian.  Instead of spending days with his arm stuck under a boulder, Aron Ralston could have just ripped the arm off of his body and have a brand new limb in the morning ready to be crushed all over again.  Regeneration of limbs and tails is very common in the world of amphibians and reptiles.  Unfortunately for mammals, we do not have the same luxury.

The future, however, may be different.  Biologists have recently discovered an African mouse, the African spiny mouse, that has the ability to completely regrow cells at a rapid rate in nearly the same way Salamanders regrow arms and legs. Other mammals, like humans, get filled with scar tissue, but that’s not the case with the spiny mouse.

Ashley W. Seifert, a researcher in University of Florida’s biology department, explains that:

The African spiny mouse appears to regenerate ear tissue in much the way that a salamander regrows a limb that has been lost to a predator.  Skin, hair follicles, cartilage — it all comes back.

Although the mice can’t regrow muscle, they don’t produce scar tissue like we do. Their skin completely regenerates itself. The researchers believe this will lead to a whole new realm of regenerative medicine.

Goodbye pretending to lose an arm while playing ‘War’ as a child, and hello real life hacking of limbs. Playtime will never be the same again.