Bio Printers: 3D Printing Technology

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* Sheth Bhaumik L.(10BME040)
* Institute Of technology, Nirma university
Imagine a situation: In the not too distant future, in a hospital, a patient is needed to have emergency kidney transplant. The doctor (cum engineer!) simply loads a 3D model file of kidney in computer and just presses the button ‘PRINT’. In less than an hour, a kidney is ready: a life has been saved. Printing off a kidney or another human organ may sound like something out of a science fiction novel, but with the advancements in 3D printing technology, the idea may not be so far-fetched.

What is 3D bio printing?
While 3D printing has been successfully used in the health care sector to make prosthetic limbs, custom hearing aids and dental fixtures, the technology is now being used to create more complex structures — particularly human tissue. Traditional 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital model. 3D printing is achieved using additive processes, in which an object is created by laying down successive layers of material such as plastic, ceramics, glass or metal to print an object .Bio printers, though, use a "bio-ink" made of living cell mixtures to form human tissue. Basically, the bio-ink is used to build a 3D structure of cells, layer by layer, to form tissue. Eventually, medical researchers hope to be able to use the printed tissue to make organs for organ replacement.

Bio printing: till now
Researchers in regenerative medicine at Wake Forest University in North Carolina partnered with the Armed Forces Institute for Regenerative Medicine to make a 3-D skin printer that deposits cells directly on a wound to help it heal quicker. Researchers at the university have also had success printing off kidney cells. Bioengineers at Cornell University have printed experimental knee cartilage, heart valves and bone implants. And the non-medical start-up Modern...
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