Medical science is progressing in leaps and bounds. Novel techniques are being devised. New medicines are invented. And promising research papers are published.
Immense development and innovation is being witnessed in the field of Regenerative medicine application. In this very context a new 3D printer has been fabricated.
What is the so significant about the 3D printer?
- A 3D printer has been fabricated which utilizes bioink to fabricate authentic human skin.
- This human skin is deemed to be used for drug testing and application in the genre of regenerative medicine.
- The skin is way authentic.
- It has 2 distinct layers that resemble the structure of the epidermis and dermis, which is found in the skin naturally.
Who are attributed to the research?
Researchers from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3) and collaborators have presented a model of the 3D printer, which has the ability to fabricate functional human skin. Within 2 months an industrial model will be ready as well.
What will be the use of 3D printed skin?
The 3D printed skin which has been and will be created has two immensely pertinent applications:
Transplants – it will be nothing short of a boon for patients with severe burns. It is these patients, which will be benefiting from the same.
Replace animal testing- with the aid of the 3D printed skin, the ever feasible yet inappropriate animal testing of drugs and microbes can be ceased.
A recent paper published in the journal Biofabrication pertaining to the same. In accordance with the paper, the team has pursued the following claim:
- It has the ability to create 100 cm2 of 3D printed skin in as a time slot which is less than 35 minutes.
- This has a pertinent implication.
- The automation of the entire process means that it will be really feasible to obtain uniform batches at a reduced cost which is definitely less than the current manual production methods.
BioDan is awaiting approval from the European regulatory agencies. After that the product will be in the market in a few months. In fact, the Bioengineering Company, which sells lab-made human skin product, has already pursued licensing of the patents for the bioinks. It is the bioink which is used in the 3D printing. The Center for Energy, Environment and Technological Research has aided in the process of licensing.
There have been companies like Organovo and MatTek in US, which are already selling human skin grown in the lab in order to replace that which was initially pursued for animal testing. However, the making of the prototype at UC3 has given route to new horizons and more development in the field automated process to create skins.
The low cost and time saving cannot be obliterated in this context. With more research and innovation in the field, the time is near when tissues and even organs will be created. And, this will have immense impact and will be a blessing for the patients.
featured image © Universidad Carlos III de Madrid