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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