News & Events
Scientists from ESA manage to create a new space bioprinting format
- July 15, 2019
- Posted by: Wiley M. Wagner
- Category: Science
Today, a joint team of specialists from the European Space Agency and colleagues from Blue Horizon and OHB System AG companies presented the world's first preliminary development of live bioprinting, having managed to create the world's first live human skin cells based on blood plasma and relatively common bio-printing techniques. This project was launched some time ago specifically in order to establish new ways of providing medical assistance to astronauts who are in conditions of weightlessness – and, accordingly, are faced with the problems of finding suitable donor blood and cells from which skin and organs can be grown.
It all sounds really futuristic, but in fact it is not unusual – after all, the use of blood plasma, which has already demonstrated promising properties in interdependence with other substances, is at the heart of the new research from ESA. As a result, the team of specialists managed to create a really high-quality version of bioprinting of skin cells, as they applied methylcellulose and alginate at the same time, as well as some equally common bioprinting.
It is worth noting that the ESA team managed not only to create living cells of human skin, but also to increase its viscosity and reliability due to special bio-ink, which serve as protective reservoirs for cells for long-term storage and transportation. It is assumed that in the near future, experts will undertake a few more studies and tests to improve the overall quality and reliability of the presented equipment.
In particular, the possibility of using blood plasma even in space conditions remains a very realistic concept, since astronauts live in cramped conditions, where every type of resource counts. Of course, development professionals still have to decide on the proper selection of additional materials and substances that can help in better managing this development. Until then, it remains only to wait for new news about the project.