On the pages of our portal (as in ournews channel in Telegram) we have repeatedly told you about successes in the field of three-dimensional organ printing. It is believed that in the near future this technology will allow you to get rid of donor organs, completely replacing them with “printed” ones. Only today, with 3D printing of organs, there is one significant problem. And it lies in the printing technology itself. And it was just recently that a group of scientists from Switzerland was able to solve it.
How do organs print?
In order to understand what iscomplexity when printing organs, let's see how this technology works. If you do not go into technical details, then for the most part during 3D printing (and it doesn’t matter what you print - a plastic part or an organ), the final shape is created by layer-by-layer application of the material. This allows you to create organs with a complex internal structure. But the main drawback in this case is time. A lot of time and resources are spent on printing one organ.
This is interesting: Organ transplants from animals to humans will happen this year.
However, there is another way - volumetricbioprinting, which allows you to form an organ simultaneously throughout the volume. The method consists in the fact that a laser with different penetrating power is supplied from a special projector to a special “mixture” of cells and fixing material from different sides, which “shows” only a certain part of the 3D model, which is visible from the “point of view” of this projector. The fabric hardens in the beam of the projector. This happens until the entire future organ is "highlighted."
A team of scientists from the Laboratory of Applied Photonicdevices (Laboratory of Applied Photonics Devices, LAPD) in Switzerland stated that using this method allowed them to create complex tissue forms in a biocompatible hydrogel with stem cells. Moreover, organs with a developed circulatory system can be formed from these tissues. But the most amazing thing here is that the printing process takes only a few seconds. Volumetric printing can allow the creation of new, functional organs in a short period of time.
Unlike regular bioprinting - slow,layer-by-layer process, our technology is much faster and offers greater freedom without compromising cell viability, ”said Damien Lottery, one of the authors of the work.
Scientists have already successfully (and most importantly, quickly) printedtissue of the heart valve, meniscus, pulmonary artery and femur. Moreover, printed tissues and organs can also be used to create interconnected structures like the liver and gall bladder.
This is just the beginning. We believe that our method is easily scalable in order to begin mass production of organs and tissues. Not to mention the fact that you can create "personalized" organs for transplantation, which will not cause an immune response.
Scientists are now focused on carrying outclinical trials and at the same time, as the authors of the work themselves say, their technology can provide not only the needs of the donor service, but also various research laboratories that urgently need living tissues for experiments. This can reduce the need for laboratory animals, which is very often criticized in the last few years.