How 3D printing can build new bone
For example, if a child has a defect in the jaw bone, you can take a shot of the defect, enter it into the computer and print the replacement, use the patient\'s own cells to precisely fill the defect, kevin shakshoff, a pharmacist at the University of Nottingham, said.
\"The tissues of our bodies are constructed at the single cell level,\" said Shakeshaff . \".
\"With 3D printing, we can locate cells in precise locations.
\"This technology enables scientists to create a custom
Fitting body parts are on display this week at the Royal Society of London\'s annual summer science fair. [
7 Cool uses of 3D printing in medicine]
To create a bone replacement, 3D bioprinter creates a bone-shaped scaffold that is covered with adult stem cells that can develop into many different tissue types.
The \"ink\" of the printer consists of a polymer called pla and a gel
A substance called seaweed.
PLA provides the hard mechanical strength of the bone, while seaweed acts as a buffer for cells.
The printed product can be implanted in the body, where the scaffold will degrade and will be replaced by a new bone in about three months.
\"The first advantage is that you get something in the exact shape of the defect you are trying to replace,\" said Shakeshaff . \".
\"The more subtle thing is that you have the ability to organize where the cells are in the scaffold,\" he said . \" This, he added, will lead to better vascular formation and ultimately better bone formation.
Prior to this, Shakeshaff and his colleagues developed a way to replace the bone by injecting a material that solidified in the body without destroying the cells.
The surgeon can use it to fill the damage.
But the new 3D printing technology may offer a better solution.
At the show, the team also demonstrated a technique for manipulating stem cells using \"laser tweezers.
\"In this technology, the two beams of laser cross and create an attraction.
The laser can then pick up cells and move them with unprecedented precision.
The researchers hope to manipulate cells in this way to understand the precise movement of cells during the development of human embryos.
Ultimately, these technologies may help scientists build fully functional alternatives for bones or organs.
The 3D printing method may be clinically available within ten years, and the same technique can be applied to repair more complex tissues, such as the liver or heart, Shakeshaff said.
Visitors can try new technology on their own: Pick up cells with laser tweezers, carve biological materials into structures such as veins or arteries, and print 3D brackets like skulls and other bone shapes.
The Royal Society holds summer science exhibitions every year to showcase advanced scientific and engineering research from across the UK.
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