Can 3D Bioprinting replace organ donors and save thousands of lives?
This technology has been growing at an astronomical pace in 2021.
The benefits offered by 3D printing are crucial in all areas of life, including medical.
The popularity of 3D printing in the medical field increased after the successful keep of a baby-sized ear on a mouse by a USA based institute, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
Need for 3D Bioprinting
As per the news published on economist.com, around 120,000 organs are transplanted from one human being to another every year.
Unfortunately, the supply [donors] of the organs is significantly low as compared to the demand. So many people have to die waiting for a life-saving phone call.
To avoid this, researchers are using 3D printers for Bioprinting. This technology let them print organs in response to the demand and save thousands of lives.
According to the experts, a few years from now, doctors will create organs for their patients by following few simple steps involved in 3D printing.
In this short guide, we will discuss 3D printing organs pros and cons.
Let’s dive in,
3D Printing (Bioprinting) Organs Pros and Cons
- Functionality and compatibility of 3D bioprinted organs need not to be tested. Thereby reducing the use of animals for testing.
- Also, reducing the count of volunteers in drug testing labs
- Organs are printed at a fast and reliable pace
- 3D printed tissues will be feature-rich
- Organs will be vital and healthy
- Such organs can improve human performance, speed, and strength
- Can print stronger bones
- Enhanced functioning of tissues
- Increases oxygen levels in the blood by improving the lung capacity
- Reduces the efforts of doctors and tissue engineers
- Less likelihood of rejection after transplantation
- Helps in easy analysis of the effect of drugs on the human body
- Can avoid organ trafficking
- Bioprinted organs would be affordable to almost everyone
- The emission of harmful particles will pollute the environment
- Questions are rising about the failure of the organ with respect to the neighbouring body parts functioning
- The patient might develop autoimmune to destroy donated tissue
- Lack of precision in droplet placement and size
- Need for low viscosity bioink
- Ethical concerns
- Utilizes a tremendous amount of energy for printing
- The price of biomaterial may increase over time
Currently, 3D Bioprinting is used for pharmaceutical development and drug validation. Researches are still going on for bioprinting human organs, and it is still under test. So let’s wait for few more years.
With the advancement in 3D printing technology, we will be able to use patient’s cells and print organ patches, skin grafts, bones, and fully functional organs.
Scientists have forecasted a very bright future where human body parts can be easily transplanted using bioprinted organs.
Sooner the gap between supply and demand of organs will be reduced by future 3D Printers.
I hope this short article gave you enough insights into the pros and cons of 3D printing organs. Let me know if you have got any questions about Bioprinting in the comment section below.