The world of 3D printing has several exciting applications among them is the possibility to print human tissue. In a previous blog I discussed the ongoing medical research of Ernst Jan Bos and his attempt to print ears. However, researchers are not only interested in printing human ears but also keen on printing knees and noses and in the future even more.
The process in short: the printed PLA (bio degradable) is used as a scaffold. Around and in the porous scaffold, living cells are placed that take over the form of the print and slowly develops into a homogeneous tissue.Â However, this tissue is only one type of tissue and there are several different types in a nose or ear. This is where the expertise of the interviewee Albert van den Berg, professor nano-technology at the University of Twente, comes in. He and his team can very precisely activate the growth of different tissue types on different parts of the 3D print. He broadly explains in the video how this is done and he explains the pivotal role Ultimaker plays in the whole research, not only in creating the porous scaffold but also in the way they use our printer to distribute the different tissue types.
According to Albert, this technique could be accessible within 5 years for mainstream use. And if so, this could help not only burn victims but also victims of a wide range of tissue deteriorating diseases. So let’s hope his predictions are right! Here is the video (Dutch):