3D Bioprinting Reached International Space Station to set Sky as the Limit

August 2019

Introduction

3D bioprinting uses 3D printing technology for the fabrication of biomedical parts from combine cells, and biomaterials to imitate the natural tissues. At present, the technology is being widely accepted in the healthcare sector for printing organs and tissues.

3D bioprinting has emerged as a key area of research in the medical science field. Massive amounts of investments are being injected in the technology for the development of effective organs for transplants, including heart, kidney, etc. The factor that is fueling the motivation for extensive research is the huge gap prevailing between the demand and supply for organ transplants. The statistics provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) states that over 100, 800 organ transplants are performed every year. The analysis is based on the survey conducted in 2008 for 104 countries, which includes 90% of the total population of the world.

The story so far!

3D printing has already gained much popularity after several successful surgeries created a buzz in the healthcare industry. One such incident that pioneers the use of 3D printing in the healthcare industry is the research trial that took place at Harvard Medical School. Urinary bladders were made for seven patients using collagen and synthetic polymer. The result was – a huge success! This indeed was the beginning of a new era in the healthcare sector. A lot more has followed the event, such as a spinal implant, bio-printed ears, etc. Recently, a South African surgeon, along with his team, has cured a 35-year-old patient’s deafness using 3D bioprinting technology.

It is proven that the technology resonates unparalleled potential for medical applications. The question now is, when will the technology be developed enough for catering to demand for core organs of the body, such as the heart. Although the answer to the question is not known yet, one thing is for sure, i.e., the technology is likely to witness proliferating applications in the years to come. Endeavors are, however, directed towards the achievement of the ultimate goal of organ transplant.

The sky is the Limit

While medical science was focused at catering to the healthcare needs of the people on earth, efforts are already being made for ensuring the use of the technology beyond the world. Case to the point is, SpaceX has successfully sent a 3D bioprinter to the International Space Station by Falcon 9 rocket. The purpose is to make medical facilities available in the space for astronauts. Biotech companies - nScrypt and Techshot have asserted that the printer will be controlled by scientists on the ground and used for printing muscle cells, nerve cells, and proteins. In other news, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has invested USD 73 Mn for bringing 3D bioprinting to space. The mission is set to be completed by 2022 and can be the real game-changer.

Takeaway

3D bioprinting may seem to be used in a full-fledged manner in the healthcare sector. However, if truth has to be told, the technology is yet to exhibit its true potential. With the rising investments in research & development and clinical trials, sooner or later, organ transplant is not only set to be possible but also affordable. Till then, it is expected to witness major ups and downs over the next couple of years.

For more information, visit: https://www.marketresearchfuture.com/reports/3d-bioprinting-market-869

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