Researchers have developed a rapid 3D printing technique that can be used to make organs
One of the main goals of printing and medicine is to be able to 3D print human organs for transplantation. Because of the small number of available organs, almost all patients worldwide who need organ transplants are waiting on transplant lists. A team of researchers from the University at Buffalo has created a new high-speed 3D printing technology that they believe brings medicine one step closer to 3D printing organs.
The engineers shared a short video of their process, which created a 3D printed hand. The video is 7 seconds long and is said to be "accelerated from 19 minutes". While the video does make it feel like the printing process only takes a few seconds, the production process actually takes 19 minutes. However, be aware that 3D printing such a detailed model of a human hand with other systems can take up to 6 hours.
The project's scientists say they have developed technology that is 10 to 50 times faster than industry standards and can complete large-sized samples. 3D printing systems are now capable of handling large-sized objects, which was difficult to achieve in the past. The project uses a 3D printing technique called stereolithography and hydrogel. Hydrogel is a jelly-like material used to make a wide variety of products.
Researchers at the University at Buffalo have devised a way to quickly print centimeter-sized models of hydrogels. The team says their process significantly reduces part deformation and cell damage caused by long-term exposure to environmental stress, as seen in a typical 3D printing process. This new method is particularly suitable for printing cells with embedded vascular networks, which are essential for 3D printing human tissues and organs.