3D printing Australia may have undergone a manifold of innovations and developments. But if you will ask the industry insiders what they consider as the most groundbreaking of them all, they will give 3D bioprinting as their answer.
The utmost importance of bioprinting is found in the production of tissue-like structures that mimic or replicate the actual macro and micro-environment of tissue and organs of humans. This is very important in carrying out clinical trials and drug testing. It holds the potential of alleviating the need for animal testing.
From creating live organs such as human lungs and heart down to replacing badly damaged skin, the Australian bioprinting sphere holds the key to some of the most life-altering breakthroughs that were previously held only in science fiction novels and movies.
To give you an idea of how bioprinting will impact us in the near future, here is a peek at what the world and 3D printing Australian space could look forward to in the coming years.
Bioprinting will take the place of human organ donors.
According to the US, they have around 154,324 patients in 2009 who signed up for a human organ transplant. The sad truth is, only 18% of those patients were accommodated and were able to receive their required organs to survive.
This goes to show that 8,863 of those patients did not make it and thus perished. The remaining number of patients were kept in the queue in the hope that they will be next in line to receive that life-altering phone call.
Once the foundations for a stable and more reliable procedure for 3D bioprinting technology have been laid, patients in similar situations will be able to receive the organs they have a dire need of in a matter of days, not a couple of years without the silver lining of hope.
At present, the scientific community preoccupies itself with various research and studies that aim to develop groundbreaking techniques and viable procedures that will help in printing living organs such as the kidneys, lungs, livers, or any other vital organ of the human body.
We can anticipate that in the near future, it will take away the need for human organ donors which will make the shortage of organ transplants a thing of the past. If this scenario will take place, it will give everyone an equal chance to get well and recover from what is ailing them.
Bioprinting will make cell rejection a thing of the past.
The work that involves printing a human tissue that will work in much the same way that the real thing does is not a walk in the park. But the odds of coming across a donor that share compatible tissue cells will give no space for optimism either.
If the human body discovers the presence of an incompatible foreign cell, it will start activating the immune system and engage it to attack the body. What does this scenario signify to us? It indicates that organ transplants are tricky.
If the new addition is rejected by the body, this will catalyze complications to come to the surface. There are instances that it will necessitate a new transplant again, which again calls for another painfully long waiting time.
Otherwise, the patient may need to learn how to live with taking immunosuppressants for the rest of their lives.
Bioprinting will take the place of animals in testing laboratories.
In the US alone, it is estimated that there are around 100 million animals that are subjected to testing. These are medical tests for different product offerings like cosmetics.
One cosmetic company recently carried out testing their products not using animals as their subject but this time around they made use of bioprinted tissue.
It is considered as a success for them in as far as testing their products is concerned. And it is being hoped that it will serve as a precedent for other companies in the industry to follow the same.
With all these developments and progress we are making in tissue production, an alternative method to animal testing is made available not just to the cosmetic space but to many industries in general.
People working in the 3D printing Australia sector have high hopes that we are closing into that day when animal testing will become a bygone dark era of the modern world.