It is no secret that outer space – despite all its advantages and research proposals – still remains a rather inhospitable place for us, people who have evolved under the influence of earth gravity. This means that even the most trained astronauts sooner or later face such unpleasant symptoms as a decrease in muscle and bone mass, as well as not quite correct flow of fluids. That is why the team of biopress specialists from Dresden Technical University presented a new biological printing system with which it is possible to create living cells.
In particular, we are talking about the possibility of creating the most real living skin cells and stem cells that can be used for medical and operational purposes under conditions of cosmic weightlessness – since astronauts have very few resources and the ability to adequately provide themselves with medical support. The new bioprinting technique itself includes the use of elements of both traditional 3D printing and the so-called “liquid” printing, in which it becomes possible to create something like bio-ink that functions as a custodian of natural fluids such as blood plasma and blood itself.
The idea is to use this bio-ink to create stem and dermal cells and then use them for transplantation to an astronaut who needs them — thus, even fairly complex and voluminous medical operations can be potentially performed in space, which itself is a really promising start.
However, so far the technical team is working on the initial stage of preparation of this development – which includes the selection of the most suitable candidate components to create a biologically active ink of the specified type. It remains to wait for the first demonstration of the final version of such ink and form one or another opinion on the basis of the possibility of a full and multi-directional implementation of the project based on the demonstrated.