Can 3D Bioprinting replace organ donors and save thousands of lives?
3D printing technology has been growing at an astronomical pace for the past few years.
The benefits offered by this technology are found in almost every sector 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 owing to this fact, most people have to die waiting for a life-saving phone call.
To avoid this, researchers are using 3D printers for Bioprinting. It 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 with few simple steps using a 3D printer.
In this short guide, we will discuss 3D printing organs pros and cons.
It will help you know and conclude about the future of Bioprinting.
Let’s dive in,
Pros of 3D Bioprinting
- Bioprinted organs are fully functional and compatible with patients so there is no need for testing them. Thereby it reduces the use of animals for testing.
- Also, reduce count of volunteers in drug testing labs
- Fast and reliable printing of organs
- 3D printed tissues will be feature-rich
- Bioprinted organs will be vital and healthy
- Can increase human performance, speed, and strength
- Can print stronger bones
- Enhanced functioning of tissues
- Increase lung capacity and therefore oxygen levels in the blood
- Reduce the efforts of doctors and tissue engineers
- Less likelihood of rejection after transplantation
- Help in easy analysis of the effect of drugs on the human body
- Can avoid organ trafficking
- Bioprinted organs would be affordable to almost everyone
Cons of 3D Bioprinting
- Pollution of the surrounding environment by emitting harmful particles in the air
- Rising questions about the failure of organs in accordance with the functions of neighboring body parts
- 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.