The experimental, and unregulated, field of Bioprinting (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – #120)

Bioprinting is a squishy topic. It sounds good in its sci-fi theory but when you nail down the practical aspects it becomes much more complicated. The research is being done to bring that vision to reality, making over-the-top announcements, from vascular tissues to entire patient-specific heart 3D printing, that mislead the reader into thinking we might already live in the future. However, there are ethical and legal conundrums to consider alongside the technical hurdles. The field is so new that legislators struggle to comprehend what’s being done in the present day, let alone what will be possible tomorrow. Bioprinting is a concoction of frontier fields like stem cells, gene editing, and biocompatible materials. Researchers are taking unorthodox approaches to the problems they face, even employing generative textile designers to design organic structures. There will need to be safety regulations, protocols, all angles still need to be figured out. After all, we’re talking about our bodies, and we don’t want defective software or printing processes to pose any kind of risk.

Nervous System Works with Rice University Researchers 3D Printing Vascular Networks

Nervous System has been heavily engaged in experimenting with 3D and 4D printing of textiles in the past years, and all their research is paying off now as they find themselves engaged in the realm of tissue engineering. Assistant professor Jordan Miller [from Rice University] invited the Nervous System team to join his researchers on an incredible journey to fabricate examples of possible vascular networks via bioprinting—harnessing their knowledge of software and materials to find a way to create soft hydrogels.

Read the article here.

Scientists Create World’s First 3D-Printed Heart Using Patient’s Own Cells

Researchers at Tel Aviv University have successfully printed the world’s first 3D heart using a patient’s own cells and biological materials to “completely match the immunological, cellular, biochemical, and anatomical properties of the patient.” Until now, researchers have only been able to 3D-print simple tissues lacking blood vessels.

“This heart is made from human cells and patient-specific biological materials. In our process these materials serve as the bioinks, substances made of sugars and proteins that can be used for 3D printing of complex tissue models,” said lead researcher Tal Dvir in a statement.

Read the article here.

Bioprinting: What are the Legal Implications of Defective Design Software?

3D printing has taken off at lightning speed, with innovations emerging around the world continually—and virtually unregulated. While there may be some serious discussions and expectations regarding ownership and common sense regarding designs, most of the legal angles are still in the embryonic stages.

“In the medical 3D bioprinting field, three theories are, in principle, relevant to the protection of the patient against injuries that are attributable to defective CAD software: (i) medical malpractice (a subset of negligence law), (ii) breach of warranty under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), and (iii) strict liability,” states researcher Jamil Ammar. “None of these theories, however, adequately address the range of injuries that could potentially arise due to use of defective CAD software.”

Read the full article at 3DPrint.com

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AM, Enabler of Breakthroughs (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 33)

3D printing is opening doors for what were previously thought to be unfeasible projects, paving the way for breakthroughs in a wide variety of areas: The Cell3Dtor project, funded by the European Union, is aiming to bring to market solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), much more energy efficient and easily/cheaply manufacturable through 3D printing. Bioprinting is going further than medical implants, enabling tunable designs of biological matrixes to radically change drug testing. Graphene is also almost ready for mass-production as a new 3D printing method using Nickel and sugar makes it simple and efficient to produce.

Cell3Ditor uses ceramics 3D printing to improve production of energy efficient solid oxide fuel cells

A pioneering new project, Cell3Ditor, by the Catalan Energy Research Institute is now aiming to leverage ceramics 3D printing to help the environment more directly, with the production of new, more efficient solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). Currently, manufacturing a SOFC requires more than 100 stages of production, with the different components being made separately and assembled with vitreous seals. This complexity greatly increases the costs of both production and initial investment, which is estimated at around € 4.8 million. 3D printing technology could change all this for the better, cutting down production time and costs as well as drastically simplifying the whole assembly process. 3D printing techniques also allow for an improved final product, as the cell could be made in one single piece.

Read the full article here.

Why Drug Testing May Be the Most Important Application of 3D Bioprinting

3D printed tissue is proving to be an effective means of testing new pharmaceuticals, meaning that drugs can be thoroughly assessed and brought to market more quickly, all without harming animal test subjects. A group of researchers from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) recently published a paper discussing the development of a new type of bioink that enables the 3D printing of cells and other biological materials as part of a single production process. You can access the paper, entitled “Mechanically Tunable Bioink for 3D Printing of Human Cells,” here.

Read the article at 3DPrint.

Scientists May Have Discovered a Sweet Way to Mass Produce Graphene

Image Credit: Tour Group/Rice University

Nanotechnologists from Rice University and China’s Tianjin University have come up with a way to make centimeter-sized objects of atomically thin graphene that’s pretty sweet. The method is simple, can be performed at room temperature, and only requires sugar and nickel in a process called “3D laser printing.” Due to the printing method, the scientists were able to control the shapes to the level of the pore and make them 99 percent air — retaining graphene’s lightness. This is a landmark for the “miracle material” — composed of a single atomic layer of hexagonally linked carbon — which has paradigm-shifting potential due to its high strength (200 times stronger than steel) and conductivity.

Read more about the landmark here.

 

See you next week for another News In Review! Our Twitter feed will keep you updated on the latest 3D printing/IIOT news as you wait.

 

Redifining Medical Customizability (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 07)

Hi all and welcome to week 6 of Authentise News-In-Review!

This week we are going to talk about customization for medical applications. AM’s freedom of design makes this one of technology’s core benefits, but nowhere is this more true than in the medical arena. We’ve long heard about custom prosthetics but it can go much further than that. Personalized medicine is taking giant steps to practicality thanks to AM and new “bioinks” are enabling new treatments that could mould to specific patients’ scenarios, like dodging intolerances or adding particular vitamin supplements. Laboratories can study diseases in custom made samples thanks to 3D printing’s power to change design, physical properties and materials on the designer’s whim.

Let’s dive in.

A new 3D bioink for PolyJet 3D printed pills

Researchers at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) have developed a viable bioink for 3D printed pills.  In this study, Giovanny Acosta-Vélez, Chase Linsley, Madison Craig and Benjamin Wu favour the inkjet technique over other 3D printing technologies for its speed and ability to print at room temperature. The temperate environment ensures that active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) aren’t damaged in the process, and speed is of course preferable for mass production. The 3D printable bioink from UCL is made from hyaluronic acid – a key ingredient in skin, connective tissues and the nervous system. A photoinitator is added to the acid so that it solidifies when in contact with light. This mixture is used to fill preformed tablets displaying the properties of an atypical oral tablet.

Read the full article here.

Porous 3D printed scaffolds help Rice University scientists tackle bone cancer

Scientists at Rice University in Houston have used 3D printing to create porous, bone-like scaffolds that can be used to study bone cancer tumors. They found that the size and orientation of individual pores affected how cells proliferate in the absence of blood. According to bioengineer Antonios Mikos, the 3D printed polymer bone scaffold contains artificial pores that constrain the flow of fluid and apply shear stress to tumor cells […] The scientists believe that this model could be vital for finding out more about bone cancer and potential treatments: “We aim to develop tumor models that can capture the complexity of tumors in vitro and can be used for drug testing, thus providing a platform for drug development while reducing the associated cost,” Mikos said.

Read the full article here.

3D Printing the Future of Surgery

One of the most hotly anticipated areas for 3D printing to impact is medicine. A myriad of stories have appeared pointing to all manner of exciting innovations in the medical field. Sadly many of the “3D printed ear/nose/heart/ etc.” stories have been rather disingenuous or are at the very least very optimistic. To give you a more accurate view of the possibilities of 3D printing in medicine we’ll look at one particular area: surgery.

Read how AM is and will transform the surgical world on 3DPrint.

 

As always, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter to receive more news that don’t make the cut to the weekly report and come back next week for another News-In-Review!