News & Events
Scientists have created a device that prints human skin and bones
- July 16, 2019
- Posted by: Wiley M. Wagner
- Category: Science
It is no secret to anyone that potential travels to Mars will take a huge amount of time from astronauts, up to several years. However, the most important problem in such expeditions is not wasting time, but the fact that people who receive any more or less serious injury there, such as a fracture or burn, will not be able to fly back to Earth to receive the necessary medical care. However, apparently, thanks to scientists from the University Hospital of Dresden Technical University, this problem is a thing of the past. The fact is that they managed to create the first bioprinting samples of human bones and skin that can actually be used in space. Yes, treating patients with various skin or bone samples printed on a 3D printer, this is still not a proven and not completely modified method. But we, on the ground, in this way do not have any urgent need, because we have quite good alternatives that contribute to the treatment of such injuries. In space, the situation is completely different, and there it is impossible to provide full-fledged qualified medical care that is available on earth. That is why the above scientists have focused on the development of "space 3D-medicine", as in the conditions in which the astronauts arrive, the human body unfortunately does not heal so quickly.
As Tommaso Gidini, head of the European Space Agency, who oversees the above project, says: “Thanks to our development, in cases of burns received in space, new skin can be easily printed using bioprinting technology. This is an incredibly useful development, which will now allow not to transfer the whole skin from one place to another, thereby still causing significant damage to the astronaut's body. Bioprinting has enormous potential that can be used both in space and in ordinary earthly hospitals. Nevertheless, at present, the main priority is given to the development of a version operating in space conditions. ”
It is not difficult to guess that scientists during the creation of this technology faced a lot of unusual, unique problems. Creating a “printer” that prints skin and bones is not a very simple task. But it is even more difficult to create it in such a way that it can function in weightlessness. According to the currently available data, the “printer” uses human blood plasma, which it thickens and further uses the necessary skin cells for bioprinting. Well, to create a "3D-bones" device will use a special bone cement with calcium phosphate to imprinted human stem cells, which in turn helps to create material as close as possible to ordinary bone.