With the world-changing technology of 3D printing, scientists at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, have focused their efforts on potentially life saving strategies, having recently had success 3D printing embryonic stem cells. This breakthrough could end the need for animal drug testing for organ donation and for acquiring embryonic stem cells.
Before this successful procedure, which was developed in partnership with Roslin Cellab and developed by Dr. Will Shu and his colleagues at Heriot-Watt University’s Biomedical Microengineering group, 2D cells which are tougher than human cells, were all that could be produced by printing.
“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that these cells have been 3D printed. The technique will allow us to create more accurate human tissue models which are essential to in vitro drug development and toxicity-testing,” says Dr. Shu.
This is exciting news as it could provide doctors with an infinite amount of transplant organs, and could kiss drug testing on animals goodbye.
3D printing human organs
In a recently announced partnership with 3D-software company Autodesk Inc., the San Diego-based manufacturer of 3D human tissues, Organovo Holdings, are set to develop the first 3D design software for bioprinting.
The technology of 3D biprinting, Organovo feels, “holds great promise for creating direct tissue therapies… The long-term goal is to create tissues intended for direct therapeutic use to augment or replace damaged or degenerating organs.”
An average of 18 people die each day of the 114,300-plus people on organ transplant waiting lists, numbers that can be decreased dramatically with continued efforts in 3D printing and the development of bioprinted organs…