Chinese 3D Bio-Printer Shows Promise at Creating Body Part, Organ Transplants
Chinese firms are leading the world in developing 3D printers that can replicate human body parts: the video, above, shows a working model in action. The printers work similarly to hard physible 3D printers, but use living cells for printer “ink.”
While I imagine this has the potential to immediately raise political fury in superstitious countries like the US, this has immense promise for increasing the quality of human life by creating implants and transplants of body parts and internal organs, without having to take them from other people (living or dead).
Additionally, I can only wonder what clever artists and biohackers could do with this technology if it were to become cheap and widespread. Multiple arms? New genders? New faces? New races? Why not?
…researchers at Hangzhou University of Electronic Science and Technology in China unveiled their Regenovo 3D bio-printer. Unlike other 3D printers, which work with plastic or metal powder, Regenovo prints living tissue.
The Hangzhou team isn’t the only company in China developing 3D bioprinter. Unique Technology in Qingdao, Shandong province recently unveiled their 3D bio printer “Re-human.”
This 3D bio printer can print down to 15 microns and operate with temperatures ranging between 0 and 300 degrees Celsius. These advantages allow much wider material selection for 3D printing. Currently Unique has successfully printed scaffolds and bones with different precision and shapes using cultivated cells, for example the scaffolds for heart tissue constructs. Theoretically, when the biodegradable 3D printed scaffold is implanted into human body, it will be absorbed by the body in about a year.
Meanwhile, the Sydney Morning Herald reports that 3D printing will likely expand China’s already immense manufacturing industry, instead of cutting into growth; Singapore is also making a bid on becoming one of the world’s 3D printing manufacturing hubs with the opening of a $30 million center devoted to the technology.
What the effect of 3D printing on the world will be remains to be seen—but I suspect that we may be on the verge of a new industrial revolution.