January 16, 2013
The future of Bioprinting explained in video and text
If you have trouble wrapping your head around bioprinting, this video by Explaining The Future published last September does so beautifully.
Additionally, excerpts from their report, Future in Technologies: Bioprinting that you must read in full.
Currently all bioprinters are experimental. However, in the future, bioprinters they could revolutionize medical practice as yet another element of the New Industrial Convergence.
In Situ Bioprinting — The potential to use bioprinters to repair our bodies in situ is pretty mind blowing. In perhaps no more than a few decades it may be possible for robotic surgical arms tipped with bioprint heads to enter the body, repair damage at the cellular level, and then also repair their point of entry on their way out. Patients would still need to rest and recuperate for a few days as bioprinted materials fully fused into mature living tissue. However, most patients could potentially recover from very major surgery in less than a week.
Cosmetic applications — As well as allowing keyhole bioprinters to repair organs inside a patient during an operation, in situ bioprinting could also have cosmetic applications. For example, face printers may be created. These would evaporate existing flesh and simultaneously replace it with new cells to exact patient specification. People could therefore download a face scan from the Internet and have it applied to themselves. Alternatively, some teenagers may have their own face scanned, and then reapplied every few years to achieve apparent perpetual youth.
Replacement organs — As bioprinters enter medical application, so replacement organs will be output to individual patient specification. As every item printed will be created from a culture of a patient's own cells, the risk of transplant organ rejection should be very low indeed.
Read full article, there is so much more.
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