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3D bio-printing will help realize “Disguise Self ” ?

DateTime: 2018-07-07
浏览次数: 126

It sounds really shocking that creating a “face” for yourself with 3D printing . A few days ago, Russian researchers said that the first artificial skin will be officially released in Russia by the end of 2018. Soldiers who suffered severe skin wounds or burns on the battlefield are expected to " regain their appearance".  Similarly, a company in silicon valley of the United States recently introduced a " combination" of a 3D facial camera and a 3D facial printer, which can easily make human skin masks.

What brings about this change is the 3D bio-printing technology , a new scientific and technological method that uses computer 3d models as " drawings" and assembles special " bio - ink" to finally produce artificial organs and biomedical products. With the rapid development of related technologies, 3d bio-printing will not only open up human " disguise self " technology, but also have broad application prospects in economic life and national defense and military fields.


3D printing technology

Uncover the veil -- How is artificial skin made?

In today's highly developed medical technology, soldiers fighting in the battlefield still lack effective treatment methods once their skin is damaged due to burns. Once upon a time, researchers also specially carried out the cultivation of human tissue structure in the laboratory.  However, the 3d bio-printing technology that emerged from the 1980s has undoubtedly opened a door to " artificial" skin.

Previously, Spanish researchers had developed a 3d biological printer.  This kind of printer can produce enough functional imitation of human skin. It can not only be used for relevant testing and research, but also can be used to repair and transplant skin damaged patients.

However, the preparation of artificial skin is easy to say and difficult to do. A seemingly thin layer of skin should not only serve as a " guard" for the human body and the external environment, but also have many functions such as feeling, adjusting temperature and secreting sweat. If we want to further develop skin with tissue function and more " spirit - like" on the basis of the " likeness" of the organizational structure, this undoubtedly puts forward extremely high requirements for biological printing technology.

At present, the 3d biological printer used to prepare artificial skin has designed a " biological ink" with originality. this ink uses a unique formula composed of plasma, protein and skin cells. Under the precise control of the computer, it can be arranged orderly in a certain structure and deposited with substances, thus preparing artificial skin.

The preparation of artificial skin cannot be separated from the precise control of 3d printers. In order to perfectly assemble various " parts" of artificial skin, a complete " three-dimensional map" of the damaged parts must first be constructed.  Under the precise control of the computer, the basic prototype of artificial skin can only be obtained by stacking and stacking various components according to the " map" of the skin layer by layer. After a period of careful cultivation, the artificial skin can be regarded as a success.

One of the major advantages of 3d bio-printing in preparing artificial skin is its simplicity and rapidity.  It does not need to go through the long process of skin tissue section decomposition and cell culture in an experimental vessel. It only needs to carry out short-term culture after extracting and analyzing the skin cells of the patient, and can start operations after 1 to 2 days.


Artificial skin made using 3D printing technology

Technological revolution –   Bio-printing is by no means “one day’s work”

With the growing maturity of 3d bio-printing technology, people may soon be able to use 3d printers to open the production line of skin.  So, what are the unknown highlights behind 3d bio-printing technology?

3D bio-printing is different from traditional 3d printing which is " inflexible and solidified" . its ultimate goal is to produce living tissues and organs that have  " flesh and blood".  As early as 2009, the first 3D biological printer was successfully manufactured and was named one of the 50 best inventions of the year by time magazine. Since then, 3D bio-printing has entered the " blowout" phase of development results. US researchers have used composite cell hydrogel materials to print layer by layer and construct kidney-like structures. At the same time, they have also created a 3D printer that can make organs, tissues and bones, which can provide patients with organ substitutes tailored to their needs.  In addition, Japanese researchers can further treat patients with related orthopedic diseases by preparing artificial protein materials into bones or cartilage through 3D printing.

The “unique skill ”of 3D bio-printing is that it is “biological brick”that is used to “build bricks”for skin . This is a new stem cell culture system with bionic function. With the support of modern medical precise scanning and computer rapid modeling technology, the implant with bionic structure can be prepared by using computer precise control to deposit " biological ink" layer by layer. It is expected that 3D bio-printing technology will realize the printing of functional blood vessels within five years and organs such as the heart or liver within ten years, which is bound to lead a technological revolution in modern medicine.

Most of the 3d biological printing implants prepared so far have only simple bionic structures and cannot completely simulate the complex structures and functions of important human organs.  After all, to truly realize the printing of complicated organizational structures involves a huge and complicated biomedical field, but it still offers unlimited possibilities for this.


Human prosthesis using 3D printing

Imagine the future— Can “disguise self” dream come true ?

The new type of human skin prepared by 3d biological printing not only imitates the natural structure of the skin, but also provides sufficient mechanical strength and elasticity for the skin.  Prior to this, US researchers had successfully produced artificial false ears through 3d printing technology. This kind of artificial ear is not only similar to the real ear in appearance and function, but also can grow cartilage within three months and gradually realize relevant functions after implanting into human body . This achievement can’t help but make people think whether 3d biological printing can make the dream of " disguise self " come true. 

there is still a long way to go before 3d bio-printing technology is put into use.  The human body is a complicated and magical system, and we are still unable to accurately decode the function transfer between cells.  Even though the artificial 3d printed organs will not be rejected after being put into the human body, the problems of how to truly integrate with human cells and how to truly exert the efficacy of organs are still to be studied.

A large number of achievements in 3d biological printing can be widely used in the fields of medical research, pharmacy, beauty, robot technology and sensing, even if they are not used for human body repair, or will profoundly change our life.  In the future, it is not impossible to customize a " special skin" for yourself with 3D bio - printing, so as to realize " disguise self ".

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