There are currently many new advances in the field of regenerative bioengineering, the field that bioprinting falls into. Many of these advances are founded by a certain individual, Dr. Forgacs, a biophysicist who is currently head researcher at a biophysics lab called Forgacslab at the University of Missouri-Columbia. His research on developmental biology provides groundbreaking advancements for bioprinting.
Dr. Forgacs’s newest pursuit is to use his organ printer to print organs that may not have the same physical appearance as the organs in our bodies, but would still have the capability to function like the original organ, such as a kidney or lung. This may be the easier route towards having “organs” available for transplants for thousands of patients, as the focus of his pursuit is the function of the organ instead of its cosmetic value.
Another research team that has been making headway in organ printing and regenerative medicine is a husband-wife research team from Washington State University. Susmita Bose and her husband, Amit Bandyopadhyay, have developed the WSU bone printer, a 3D printer that develops artificial bone-like materials. This has recently attracted media attention because of their success with Invitro growth of bones around artificial scaffolds. Artificial bone scaffolds would enable doctors to repair defects or injuries without taking a bone graph from elsewhere in the patient’s body or using a synthetic mesh material that can have negative long-term effects. Bose’s scaffolding harmlessly dissolves as new bone grows around it. This shows great advancement towards the printing of organs, as the dissolving technique can be used to recreate the hollow shape of organs.
A company called Organovo has also been successful in the bioprinting world. They have recently come out with the first commercial printer able to create human tissue. This is a great advancement in the medical and pharmaceutical industry as it reduces time and money required for drug research. This technology can reduce the time its takes to receive medical attention, and can potentially save billions of dollars for companies.
With these promising individuals and teams researching and constantly advancing the feasibility of this technology, we are another step closer to a brighter future.
Thank you again for reading our blog. If you have any questions about this posting or bioprinting in general, please let us know and we will ask our bioprint expert in our upcoming interview! Tweet us if you read this post @BioPrint1 !