Cosmic bioprinter prints bones and skin of astronauts (4 photos + 3 videos)

Space exploration comes close to preparationlong interplanetary flights. Life support for astronauts will require non-standard medical equipment. Specialists from the University Hospital of the Dresden Technical University developed an original 3D printer designed for printing bones and skin in zero gravity.

During a long interplanetary flight mayunforeseen abnormal situations occur as a result of which astronauts will get burns or fractures. Recovery will be carried out independently in zero gravity. Transplantation of skin or bone material printed on a 3D printer can be an optimal solution. Traditional transplants are less effective, since in space conditions the healing is slower, and the astronauts will also have secondary damage to the places from which donor material will be taken.

Used in space 3D printersinnovative ideas. Thus, non-standard “cartridges” and “inks” were developed, which would allow space travelers to print biomaterial, pieces of skin or bone, and from their own cells - blood and stem cells. So that the materials obtained for treatment retain their properties and action under microgravity conditions, the researchers supplemented consumables with plant material and necessary minerals.

So far, the creation of space printers for printing bones and skin is at the very initial stage of development, and scientists still have to solve many technical problems.