Discuss the uses of 3D Bio Printing in Healthcare.

Discuss the uses of 3D Bio Printing in Healthcare.

This paper is about 3D printing in healthcare. The specific focus of this paper shall be bioprinting with an emphasis on tissues, skin and organs. 3D bioprinting refers to the process of producing cell patterns that are controlled spatially. The cell patterns are generated using 3D technologies of printing. The cells that can be reproduced by using 3D bioprinting include the skin, internal organs, and tissues.3D Bio Printing in Healthcare Essay

History of 3D Bio Printing
3D printing was originally referred to as additive manufacturing as an addition to the traditional two-dimensional printing. Three-dimensional printing can be traced to the year 1976. It was a conception adapted from the inkjet printer with advancements in methods of printing.
In the nineteen nineties, three-dimensional bioprinting was used to bring advances in the field of medicine by carrying out augmentation in the urinary bladder. To do this, the doctors used a three-dimensional scaffold (synthetic) coated with the cells of the patients. The fact that the engineered organs are developed from the patient’s own cells, the risk of rejection is dealt with (Hong et al., 2013)

In the year 2002, there was a further contribution to the field of three-dimensional bioprinting. Scientists were able to reproduce a kidney that was able to carry out functions such as filtering produce and blood that had been diluted in an animals’ urine. This development of printing or reproducing a kidney was really revolutionary and led to further research in the area. In 2008, there was a major breakthrough in the field of bioprinting in healthcare. The first three-dimensional prosthetics was replicated. The replica was in the same complex structure of a human foot. In 2009, the first blood vessel was replicated using three-dimensional technologies. This saw a shift from three-dimensional technologies being used purely on cells to even blood vessels. In the year 2012, a lower jaw was printed in Netherlands using three-dimensional technologies (Feng et al., 2011).3D Bio Printing in Healthcare Essay

Current State of 3D Bio Printing in Healthcare
Three-dimensional bioprinting can be said to be a relatively new practice in the field of medicine. Scientists and other healthcare professionals are still carrying out numerous researches on the matter. Every part of the world is concerned with the development of three-dimensional bioprinting and what it could mean for the healthcare profession.


A research center at the University of Iowa set up a bioprinting laboratory in the year 2011. The laboratory focuses on tissue engineering. There have also been advancements in transplantation of organs. This follows a discovery by scientists on how to print not only cells but tissues as well. With such progress, bioprinting is, therefore, useful not only useful for printing of cells and tissues but organs as well. The result of this is biomaterial which has been advanced to be stronger than the regular body matter such as soft bones and tissues (Yin, 2014).3D Bio Printing in Healthcare Essay

Three-dimensional bioprinting is limited in that it has not in the past found the means to print vascular tissue which is perfusable and can be used in the circulation of fluids from tissues and organs. There has however been some progress made with regard to this. Laboratories have been able to print such permeable tissue which can be used to transport cells and fluids to the cells.

The barriers that have to be dealt with are still numerous. The milestones that have been achieved are, however, material and have had a positive effect on the progression of three-dimensional bioprinting in healthcare. More and more people in the healthcare profession are becoming more aware of the need to promote three-dimensional bioprinting as a means to improve healthcare services (Muller, 2014).

Future Aspiration of 3D Bio Printing
Three-dimensional bioprinting could revolutionize the world of medicine as we know it today. First off; in the field of organ transplant, It would become relatively easy for organ transplant to be done as long as there is consent. It would only be a matter of printing a new organ. Currently on the liver is available for three-dimensional printing. The field, however, strives to have all other major organs and tissues be reprinted. For example, Organovo is striving to be able to print grafts for blood vessels that can be used in a heart surgery (bypass). 3D Bio Printing in Healthcare Essay

The main focus in the industry is in future to have a wide variety of organs and tissues on demand technologies. Scholars have been working on a way to create devices that can exercise artificially as a means of strengthening muscle tissue that has been printed using the three-dimensional technology. Also to add to bioprinting, advancements in genetic engineering and nanotechnology are a good example of where bio printing may be in years to come. Bio printing may in the future be particularly interested in the notion of life extension by manipulation of the tissues at a cellular level (Yin, 2014).

Bio printing is a tremendous breakthrough in the field of medicine. The ability to reproduce other cells, tissues and organs by use of technology is mind-blowing. From the discussion above, it can only get better.

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Hong, S., Song, S., Lee, J. Y., Jang, H., Choi, J., Sun, K., & Park, Y. (2013). Cellular behavior in micropatterned hydrogels by bioprinting system depended on the cell types and cellular interaction. Journal Of Bioscience & Bioengineering, 116(2), 224-230. doi:10.1016/j.jbiosc.2013.02.011
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Rezende, R. A., Pereira, F. D., Kasyanov, V., Ovsianikov, A., Torgensen, J., Gruber, P., & … da Silva, J. V. (2012). Design, physical prototyping and initial characterisation of ‘lockyballs’. Virtual & Physical Prototyping, 7(4), 287-301. doi:10.1080/17452759.2012.740877. 3D Bio Printing in Healthcare Essay
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