A really interesting new application for 3D printing has been uncovered by San-Diego based startup Organovo: Media Research!
It turns out there are a lot of things that make human metabolism different to that of other animals, it’s due to this that a number of drugs that have perviously seemed to have a positive impact on animals have no effect or a negative effect with it comes to testing on human tissue.
Organovo are hoping that 3D printing will enable them to create tissue that is almost indiscernible to that of human skin and bone, however they’re hoping this new technology will allow them to produce the tissue at a fraction of the cost is costs to grow human tissue in the lab. verall this should lead to a big reduction in the costs associated with medical research and pharmaceutiacl research.
Normally, 3D printing involves laying one layer of resin, plastic or metal being laid down at a time stored in cartridges (much in the same way a normal laser printer uses a printer toner cartridges), Organovo have developed cartridges that contain cells prepared especially for this task.
The technicians at Organovo have developed a number of different tissues that are very similar to human tissue samples using this technique. These human-like samples include skin, lung, cardiac muscle, blood vessels etc.