What is 3D Bioprinting?
The healthcare industry has figured out a way to incorporate 3D printing into medicine and research. Bioprinting is employing 3D printing for biological purposes. An example of this would be combining cells or creating an item with tissue properties. Bioprinting is very similar to regular 3D printing. Both of these 3D printing methods process where material is layered, consisting of biolinks. A major difference between 3D bioprinting and regular 3D printing is that bioprinting uses biological material rather than filament or resin.
3D Bioprinting Steps
There are a few distinct steps when 3D bioprinting. The first and most important step is the 3D modeling stage. To begin, a biopsy is done as an initial procedure. Then, a tomographic reconstruction is done to advance to layer by layer printing. Since biological material is being used, it is required to multiply and isolate cells that are then mixed with oxygen and nutrients so they can be printed.
The next step is bioprinting itself. It is very similar to food printing, because a liquid mix of cells and nutrients is printed out. Cells are deposited layer-by-layer and a special biocompatible scaffolding is used.
The final step in 3D bioprinting is post-processing. This step is very involved and tedious. Since organic material is being used, this step needs to stay very stable and consistent. It has to fit a post-transplant environment, since it is real cells and biological materials that are being dealt with.
Bioprinting and the Healthcare Industry
3D bioprinting is said to help the healthcare industries in many ways. Bioprinting is a valuable tool for visualization. 3D printing to scale is very important in the medical field, and is used for scaled models before going into surgery. 3D bioprinting allows for the possibility of printing organs. For example, there was a heart printed from one of these machines using live cells. Most of the organs printed are used for research, testing medical devices, and testing drugs. Some organs are also used to investigate disease prevention.
3D bioprinting is becoming more and more advanced and is helping the healthcare industry in so many ways. It is helping us research and learn more things about the human body as well as helping doctors prepare for complicated surgeries. Bioprinting is a breakthrough in the healthcare industry and can potentially save many lives.