Tissue engineering - lab grown replacement tissues
Skin, blood vessels, bladders, trachea, esophagus, and muscle have been successfully engineered in the lab. Complex organs however, require multiple cell types to function as a single unit. Could 3-D printing for biodegradable scaffold design combined with 3-D bio-printing to seed an array of cell types in the appropriate ratios deliver the solution? For more on 3-D bio-printing click HERE
Bonus Biogroup from Israel is trialling lab grown semi-liquid bone grafts (developed from patient fat cells) to inject into damaged bone. 3-D printing assists in making the grafting material.
Using 3-D bio-printing, stem cells, and biodegradable scaffolds, researchers in the U.S. (University of California LA) and U.K. (University of Edinburgh) are developing formed human ears as a solution to missing, deformed or damaged ears. The solution is likely to become a widely available success as it will be low risk, relatively non-invasive, and can use a patients own cells.