9 Amazing Uses of 3D Printing in Medical Technology3

3D printing is one of the most developing branches in the field of technology. It has been used to create automobile parts, clothes and day-to-day use accessories. There are many amazing things you can make with a 3D printer but some of them considered as illegal in our society. Now it is contemplated as an emerging technology and has numerous applications in medical technology. This could revolutionize medical field in the future. The given list features 9 amazing uses of 3D printing in medical technology.

9. Bio-printed Drugs

Photo credit: Wikimedia

Yes, this is real. Lee Cronin, a chemist from the University of Glasgow invented “3D Chemputer” that is capable of printing of drugs. This printer works by adjusting chemical compounds on a molecular level. He is trying to make this technology commercial, but this could be dangerous as many people try to create illegal drugs in their home. Another team from the Louisiana Technology University claimed that they create a biodegradable material which could be used as the capsule of the medicine. The material they use has antibiotics and many other medicinal compounds that can be broken down by our metabolism process.

8. Repair a Broken Heart

Repair a Broken HeartPhoto credit: Wikimedia

In 2011, few scientists from the University of Rostock created a patch made of human cells using a 3D laser printer. They test it on a rat’s heart who had suffered from a heart attack. The present treatment of major heart attacks is a heart transplant. The patients for transplant are far more than the organ donors and this surgery could also arise complications. So, scientists invented this method of broken heart heals that will repair millions of hearts in the future. Researchers are still working on this technology to make this more advanced.

7. 3D Printed Prosthetic

3D Printed ProstheticPhoto credit: Flickr

This is a very important application of 3D printers because thousands of people lost their limbs in accidents. Few engineers create a 3D printer which prints prosthetic parts for the disabled people. In 2012, a team of medical researchers replaced the lower jaw of an 83 year old lady with a printed prosthetic. After only one day of the surgery, she was normal to speak and swallow food. This surgery takes only four hours to complete as compared to 15 hours normal surgeries. There are many other examples of successful 3D printed prosthetic transplant.

6. Printing Stem Cells

Printing Stem CellsPhoto credit: Wikimedia

Stem cells are magical cells that can divide to produce more similar stem cells. A team of researchers from the University of Edinburgh describe the prototype of a printer that prints stem cells. There is another San Diego based bioprinting company, Organovo that prints liver and eye cells with two other companies. This technique could be used for the treatment of diabetes, cancer, wound healing, restoring of vision, spinal cord injury and many other. But this could also be very dangerous to patients if their body refused to work with the new stem cells.

5. Bioprinted Blood Vessels

Bio Printingphoto credit: Wikimedia

Few scientists from the University of Missouri printed blood vessels that are living like a real heart vessel. The Journal Tissue Magazine published about this invention in 2008. Now another team from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, US has made a fabricated blood vessel using a 3D printing method. They used biological molecules as raw material and print them in shape using a laser technology. In the future, this technique could be used to print customized tissues for each patient.

4. Printing Skin

3D Printing Rapid PrototypingPhoto credit: Wikimedia

The current treatment of skin grafting is very painful because doctors remove the skin from an unaltered area and patch it onto the affected region. In the last two decades, we have seen many experiments in creating engineered skin. Recently a team of researchers at the University of Toronto unveiled the method of using a 3D printer to print skin. They used skin cells with other polymers as the raw material of the printer. This technology will be very useful in future. This could be used as grafting skin over burns, skin diseases and other infections.

3. Bioprinted Bone

Bioprinted BonePhoto credit: Wikimedia

In the last few years, three-dimensional printers are also used to print cartilage and bones. Recently early this year, a patient in France had a 3D printed spinal cage surgery for his deformed spine. In 2012, a Swedish teenager got a successful hip bone transplant using a 3D printer. There are many other stories of successful transplant and all of them were totally recovered within few days.

2. Advance Medical Study

Advance medical studyPhoto credit: Wikimedia

There are numerous 3D printing companies that create human body parts for the advanced experimental work. If you have live body cells then this is the best way to study diseases. A report also says that successful experiments results in advancement. We are able to print any internal body parts so that medical students can understand it better. This kind of study can also be used for major injuries and their treatment.

1. Bio-printed Organs

Bio-printed Organs - 3D Printing in Medical TechnologyPhoto credit: Wikimedia

What are the benefits of creating a new organ instead of transplanting it? Many scientists are trying to make a glucose sensitive pancreatic organ that can be transplanted to regulate the sugar level in blood. Bioprinting technology has been used to print organs from the patient’s own cells. Between 1999 and 2001, doctors at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine transplanted seven lab grown bladders and all of them were successful. They are now focusing on to print a Transplantable kidney.

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