Hero: 3D Bioprinting, Saving Lives

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    The structure and how the 21st century world works are unprecedented in many ways. If ancient and medieval people get to have the chance to observe the current generation’s routines, they would be in awe. Some people in this generation are even still in awe. Thanks to the different technological gadgets invented by the living brilliant minds of this era. The things and occurrences that were once believed to be impossible transformed into norms. Human activities that can be improved with the aid of technology seem to be ordinary situations. These became parts of the everyday routines of almost all people. You say it, may it be for school, work, or home tasks, you’ll be thankful for the help of technology. From school alone, students are bombarded with projects that require a lot of their energy. The question now is, can the students finish all their tasks manually? That’s not sure. They need their cell phones or even iPads to take pictures of their notes rather than to waste their time writing them down on a notebook. They surely will need to write a lot of information. No worries! They can now use a printer to write their essays or to draw pictures. Surely, cell phones and printers are such resourceful ideas! At work, we are talking’ about paper works here. Obviously, you need to photocopy or print contents as well. Undeniably, there are still more brilliant technological perks.

    Technology covers not only complex machines, but also simple tools. Meaning, its scope is wide, proving that it has been improving through time. Knives, scissors, ball pens, roller skates, electric fans, microwave ovens, televisions, light bulbs, cell phones, and computers − these are just a few examples of what is referred to as technology. Having a diverse set of tools, this implicates that different technological gadgets are quite helpful in different human areas; areas like in education, health, environment, politics, economics, development, and the like. It is amazing how technology has changed the behavior and the ways of the world.

    Technology, through the different technological feats, have blessed the world in countless ways. This puts technology in a position where people demand more what it can do to make life simpler, easier, and better. One of the amazing ways that a technology can do is to print. We are talking about printers here. A printer is one of the most essential equipments that a school or workplace should have. Trust this, within one semester, one student prints 200-400 pages of school work. How much more in the corporate world where things get to be more serious. An ordinary company would house 10-20 printers approximately. Imagine how many contents are needed to be printed. Printing makes up a big cost in a company’s budget. That is reasonable. There is no day that there will be no activities that will require printing some papers.

    Printing contents provide you a hard copy of an information that you need. You can print both write-ups and pictures. You can print anything you want. If only people can print real food and clothes, I will print non-stop. Who knows it might come to a point where food and clothes can be downloaded already. We’ll anticipate when that time comes. Imagine printing things in 3D? This would give an illusion that the printed material is really real.

    This might be impossible and too ambitious to achieve, but believe it or not, 3D printing has made its way into the modern world. Exciting! Can we now print food and clothes. Well, that’s not the main reason why 3D printing was put into existence. It is believed that 3D printing was invented to study materials more carefully, hoping that circumstances will improve. 3D printing gave hope to scientists, experts, and even to people who have serious sicknesses or diseases. Printing 3D organs seem to be monopolizing the spotlight of 3D printing. So what if people can now print human or other organs in 3D? That’s such a breakthrough! So, let us get to know more about it.

    A printable organ is an artificially-structured material with the purpose of organ replacement. In short, it is used for transplantation of organs. 3D printing was first introduced in 2003 when Thomas Boland from Clemson University filed a patent for inkjet printing cells. The process became known to be bioprinting and has been further developed. This is good news! This could solve the problem of shortage in donor organs. One of the few doctors interested in bioprinting is Dr. Anthony Atala from Winston Salem in North Carolina. He has been printing complex organs, cells, and bones through “ITOP.” ITOP stands for Integrated Tissue and Organ Printing System that weighs about 800 pounds. Instead of printing in ink, the ITOP prints using human cells. A small piece of a tissue from a patient is extracted. Then, the tissue’s cells are expanded. A new organ is then created that naturally came from the patient’s very own cells. There is a layer by layer construction of an organ to form a cell scaffold. The ITOP uses data from MRI and CT Scans to tailor-fit patients’ organs. This is revolutionary, but some people may find this skeptical. The people behind 3D printing knows and that it will take time to have government approval on transplanting 3D organs into human beings. 3D organ printing can be done through different techniques. It can be through Drop-based bioprinting or through Extrusion bioprinting.

    This is quite promising. A lot of companies are already manufacturing bioprinters. One of them is Russia’s 3D Printing Solutions. Printing complex 3D organs like the heart, brain, kidney, and liver have been subjects of researches. What is sure right now is the hope of patients to finally have their desired transplant has the possibility to be realized. This means that more lives will be saved. Whoever thought that printing could be upgraded into 3D style and that could actually make a mark in saving lives! It is both brilliant and wonderful at the same time. With this technology’s pure reason of existence, experts will surely do their best to advance it. The future is getting brighter, isn’t it?

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