3D printing has taken the world by storm. Basically, the concept behind 3D printing is making of a physical object from a digital design. There are wide varieties of printing techniques and materials used in this technology, but the main concept remains the same, which is; creating a solid three-dimensional physical object by adding layer after layer with the help of a digital model. The process of 3D printing involves depositing a binder material on top of a powder bed with the help of an inkjet printer one layer after the other. The objects that are produced can be of any shape and dimension.
With technology advancements burgeoning around, the medical science has found many creative solutions to cure some ailments that were nearly incurable years ago. As the research and development in medical science progresses backed-up by latest technologies, we are in a process of making human organs that are just like one of our plug-and-play devices. The latest breakthrough is a printer that can produce tissues, organs and bones that could be implanted in the body of a living human being.
Find out how –
These Bioprinters are very similar to most 3D printers and perform a similar task, but instead of putting layers of molten metal or plastic, these printers use layers of material called hydrogels—these are water-based solutions that mainly contain the human cells. There are multiple nozzles which release hydrogels present in a 3D bio printer along with other biodegradable materials that are used in giving the cells and tissues its required structure and strength. Subsequently, the materials supporting the hydrogel dissolves and the tissues finish incubating in the machine, at this stage the organ/tissue/bone could be implanted into a human.
The technology of 3D printers has been around for over three decades, but its only now that this technique is expanding and advancing exponentially, hence allowing the users majorly in the health industry to imagine and create new and profound possibilities of this knowledge. Due to such advancements health is not only becoming personalized, but it is also becoming democratic.
3D printing being used in –
The science fiction fantasy once upon a time has turned into reality and is being used and implemented by many companies. Let’s take a look at some real-life examples;
- In the field of orthopaedics, the earlier casts that were being made were not only expensive but heavy and uncomfortable too. With 3D bio printing coming in, the 3D printed casts can be made. These casts are not only custom made but are embedded with super smart technology that can respond to swelling in a very intellectual way.
- A company, named Sonava, is making custom-fitted hearing aids using 3D printing that can be delivered to your doorstep in just a few days of your ordering it.
- Another company is making custom-fit braces that are half the cost of the ones that were made earlier.
- Prosthetics with the help of 3D printing is now combined with bionics, sensors, and smart electronics to create a responsive and adept tool for people using it. These prosthetics have been used extensively in war torn areas, it has allowed more people to return to a normal fully capable life.
Cost effectiveness of 3D printing is the main reason behind medical care being accessible to more people now. When we look towards the future, we don’t see organ printing too far. As the medical world is growing rapidly companies are making thrilling new discoveries and opening new doors for patients and healthcare professionals. We are quite positive that 3D printing will continue to revolutionize the path forward.