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3D organ printing will become a new breakthrough point for biological therapy

DateTime: 2018-05-31
浏览次数: 84

In recent years, biological therapy has attracted increasing attention from scholars at home and abroad. In particular, stem cell technology has made great breakthroughs in the field of biological therapy. Stem cells have brought gratifying results in both immunotherapy and clinical treatment, and the maturity of 3D technology has opened the curtain for the two-dimensional and three-dimensional upgrade of stem cells, which is expected to drive the biological innovation revolution and bring human medical technology. The new upgrade. So what impact will 3D technology bring to the future development of biotherapies? On these issues, Dr. Ren Wei, a senior consultant of the Shirre Life Group and a senior expert on virtual reality 3D technology, was interviewed.

3D technology promotes stem cell technology upgrade

Under the impetus of governments of various countries, research on regenerative medicine has achieved tremendous development in recent years. Stem cells have developed very rapidly as the most dynamic research field of regenerative medicine. Stem cells have great research and application value in the three fields of life sciences, new drug trials and disease research. Now they have been widely used in fields such as replacement therapy of drug regenerative cells and drug screening, and have become the focus of world attention and research.

With the advent of 3D technology, there has been a breakthrough in stem cell technology. In the past, stem cell research only stayed in the two-dimensional state and was applied to clinical treatment research after treatment in petri dishes. Today, 3D technology brings stem cell research into 3D and uses 3D technology to print human tissue or organ models to allow stem cells to grow naturally in a model environment. This combination of stem cell technology and 3D technology allows stem cell research to be conducted under conditions that are closer to the natural environment. Researchers can observe that cells interact complexly with each other in three-dimensional space. This has great potential for stem cell research applications. Big promotion.


3D Printing Promotes New Developments in Innovative Medicine

At present, 3D technology can already print a lot of bone and joint products, including hip, knee, and even local bone products. For example, a digital scan can be performed based on the patient's cranial defect and then 3D prints a suitable bone sheet covering the defect.

However, combining stem cell technology with 3D technology to induce organs that can fully meet the needs of human applications is a frontier issue in the world. Experts from all over the world are studying it and it is very difficult at present, such as how to induce stem cells as doctors expect. Developed into different tissues, how to make these printed organs and the original organs of the human body seamlessly connected, not exclusive, and function well; how to solve the problem of “quality assurance” of printed organs... In short, this is not just about 3D printing. Experts can independently solve problems that need to work with medical experts, biology experts, computer experts, and even experts in design and mathematics to achieve breakthroughs.

However, once this technology is completed, it will bring unimaginable influence to the biology community. Once matured, organ printing may completely change human life. For example, human body failure does not need to find a donor, but directly apply 3D stem cell technology to print human liver implanted in patients. Ren Bo explained that the 3D printing organ can be specifically printed on a liver scaffold using degradable materials, and stem cells are attached to the scaffold. The stem cells grow rapidly along the organ model, some grow into muscle, some grow into a surface tissue, and finally, To achieve the reengineering of blood vessels and nerves and other systems, the stent is finally degraded, and the printed liver can play its due role.

Not only that, the 3D printing organization model helps doctors "precise surgery." The use of 3D technology to print the patient's diseased organ model at a ratio of 1:1 allows doctors to familiarize themselves with the specific conditions of the patient's organs before surgery. In the past, doctors could only judge based on experience in the details of surgical techniques. Now doctors have a new choice. They can use biological 3D printing technology to make organ models and perform a "simulated surgery" on the model first. Therefore, the surgical plan can be specifically studied and the success rate of surgery can be greatly improved.

Print organ listing future

Ren Bo introduced that the application of 3D bioprinting mainly has three stages: in vitro surgery model, printing can be used to implant human organs and tissues and use cells to print out active organs and tissues.

The organ model we mentioned above is the first one. At present, this technology is also used in personalized surgical models and prostheses for neurosurgery and spine surgery. In complicated cases, it is beneficial to preoperative planning, assisting patients in understanding the condition and medical training, and greatly benefiting the patient.

The second stage in the application of 3D bioprinting technology is to print in vivo implants. "The existing soft tissue repair materials, such as animal tissue, collagen, etc., will bring about problems such as animal disease transmission, immune rejection, and weak mechanical properties. However, the traditional synthetic materials also have no degradation, poor mechanical compliance, and poor tissue regeneration. Such limitations. And 3D printing has a prominent advantage in personalization and micro bionics,” he said.

At this stage, the use of 3D bioprinting technology can print human tissues with good biocompatibility, and the materials used are key challenges. According to the differences in target sites, some materials require no degradation and become permanent implants, while some materials require degradation, interaction with human tissues, and promotion of tissue regeneration. At present, Ren Bo’s scientific research team is studying such products. They are studying the fiber structure of human tissue at the microscopic level and setting up scaffolds that are conducive to cell crawling and growth.

On the basis of the previous two stages of development, Ren Bo stated that the use of cells to print out active organs and tissues is a 3D bioprinter in the modern sense, which can truly achieve “rapid prototyping” and will also have the greatest application potential. The widest range of 3D bioprinting technology.


The picture shows the tubular and glomerular 3D print model

Ren Bo believes that from the technical level, at least three challenges need to be overcome. First of all, we need to solve the problem of whether the fragile cells in the printing process can survive, whether they can develop, whether they will mutate or even become tumorous. Second, 3D bioprinters must meet the extremely high requirements of biomimetic manufacturing precision and accuracy; Tissues and organs are heterogeneous systems composed of multiple materials and multiple cells, and their manufacturing requirements are also extremely high.

In foreign countries, the 3D bioprinting research center is a team of Wake Forest University in the United States. In 2006, it successfully used cell expansion technology to cultivate bladder in vitro. In February last year, the university’s research team used the newly developed 3D biometric printing system to print out artificial ears, bones, and muscle tissue, which remained active after being transplanted into animals.

In spite of this, experts also reminded that laboratory success does not equal success in industrialization. For medical products, they must comply with national regulations before they are applied to the human body, and they meet the clinical requirements in terms of safety and effectiveness. This requires a lot of experimental verification. It is estimated that a cell-free 3D printing product for tissue repair will take approximately 5 to 6 years from R&D to marketing. With 3D printing products containing living cells, there are still many technical problems to be overcome, and it is still impossible to estimate the time-to-market.

At the end of the interview, Ren Bo said: “Although time is long, we cannot stop innovation and research in this area. We believe that through the concerted efforts of experts in various fields, we will surely realize the scientific dream of human beings to print their own organs at an early date.

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