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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Scientists have developed a 3D printer for organ

Japanese scientists are developing a 3D printer technology to make the skin, bones and artificial joints. And several groups of scientists around the world have developed a small mass of tissue to implant, but now they will move to the next stage and make it more functional.
Tsuyoshi Takato, professor of the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Medicine, displays an artificial ear made of polyactic acid and designed by a 3D printer at his laboratory in Tokyo on Friday, Jan. 16. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1AKJ3ZD)
Tsuyoshi Takato, a professor at the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Medicine  said that his team is working on the "next generation 3D bio-printer" that can build a thin layer of biomaterials to make parts of the body.

His team combines stem cells - a proto cells that can develop into all parts of the body - and the proteins that trigger the growth, as well as synthetic substance similar to human collagen.

By using a 3D printer, they create "artificial organ structures" such as hard and porous surfaces inside the bone, Takato said as quoted by AFP news agency. In just a few hours, the printing machine can produce implants by using data from Computer Tomography (CT) Scanner.

The plastic surgeons say that implants can be implanted in the body, and quickly assimilated by the body's tissues and organs other patients. "Usually we use cartilage or bone from the patient's body (for regular implants), but the implants are made to order it means no need to take away from the original source," Takato said.

The technology also gives hope to children who are born with the problem of bone or cartilage, which can not use regular synthetic implants because their body growth rate. The biggest obstacle is the heat generated from conventional 3D printers that damage proteins and living cells.

"We do not fully know how to avoid the heat that causes denaturation, but we have several models and is exploring where the most efficient method," he said. And the artificial protein that used by Takato and his team was developed by Fujifilm, which has been researching collagen used in photographic film.

Because the implant is made based on human collagen, not taken from the animals, the implants were easily assimilated in the human body and reduce the risk of infections such as mad cow disease. Takato said his team has a target to begin clinical trials leather printed with a 3D printer in the next three years, followed by bone, cartilage and joints.

The researchers say their project prior to "CT-Bone" which was developed by the company Next 21 based in Tokyo and government agencies provide guidance for the current study. Techniques that use calcium phosphate, bone constituent substance, but does not contain stem cells.

CT-Bone implant is inserted into the fractured bone or placed where the missing bone to act as a scaffold for new bone growth. The new growth that can take over the implant in two years with the parent bone acts as an incubator.

Takato said tests on animals showed regeneration can even be faster to use collagen implants, stem cells and growth stimulus. And the Japanese medical authorities are expected to approve the use of CT-Bone in the medical practice in this year. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | THE CHINA POST]
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