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3-D Bioprinting: A Fashionable Day Prometheus


This essay, by Logan Ramanathan, 17, from The Nueva College in Los Altos Hills, Calif., is without doubt one of the high 10 winners of The Studying Community’s fourth annual STEM Writing Contest, for which we acquired over 3,000 entries.

Yow will discover all of our pupil winners right here.


3-D Bioprinting: A Fashionable Day Prometheus

In Greek mythology, Prometheus, the god of fireplace, was tasked with creating the human — to form the human physique and its organs from mud. Now, by way of science, a model of Prometheus’s feat could also be changing into a actuality.

Fourteen hours after coming into into surgical procedure, 10-year-old Luke Massella awoke in Boston Kids’s Hospital. Luke was born with a situation known as spina bifida, a spinal illness that may trigger wide-ranging well being problems. By 10 years previous, he had undergone over a dozen surgical procedures, and in 2001, a malfunctioning bladder led to kidney failure. Luke wanted a brand new bladder; nevertheless, historically, this was not attainable. Beforehand, bladder failure meant residing with both an ostomy bag that collects urine exterior the physique or an inner pouch drained with a tube. Moreover, with out a wholesome bladder, Luke’s kidneys would by no means be capable to heal.

“I used to be type of going through the likelihood I may need to do dialysis [blood purification via machine] for the remainder of my life,” Luke stated. “I wouldn’t be capable to play sports activities, and have the traditional child life with my brother.” Dr. Anthony Atala, a pioneering pediatric urologist, had different concepts.

Utilizing specialised 3-D printers and a small piece of Luke’s bladder, Dr. Atala’s staff, over two months, was in a position to develop Luke a brand new bladder. The transplant surgical procedure was an amazing success. To at the present time, Luke lives with out complication; the first-ever case of a 3-D-printed organ transplant. By 2018, 9 different sufferers had acquired equally printed organ transplants.

Bioprinters work equally to conventional 3-D printers; nevertheless, as a substitute of depositing layers of plastic, they ship layers of biomaterial which incorporates residing cells. These residing cells are grown from seed cells taken from the affected person and cultivated to type a bioink. The printers observe directions from detailed laptop fashions of organs or different tissues which are typically made particularly for a given affected person. Thus, by way of using an MRI scan and harvested cells, printers could make a customized organ, offering an ideal match.

Up to now decade, the bioprinting business has quickly developed to work on much more difficult tissues and organs. A staff on the Brigham and Girls’s Hospital, for instance, not too long ago achieved a breakthrough within the printing of human blood vessels.

In keeping with Jennifer Lewis, a professor at Harvard College’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Impressed Engineering, in lower than a decade, virtually all organs could possibly be printed, eliminating the necessity for transplant donors. With 17 People dying each day whereas ready for organ transplants, bioprinting might change into massively impactful. By way of new know-how, a whole lot of hundreds of individuals would be capable to obtain lifesaving transplants which might have been in any other case inconceivable.

By way of bioprinting, science is bringing mythology to life. This time, although, as a substitute of titans shaping parts of the human physique from mud, researchers and medical doctors are printing organs utilizing high-tech gear, ushering us right into a more healthy future.

Works Cited

Belton, Padraig. “A New Bladder Made From My Cells Gave Me My Life Again.” BBC Information, 11 Sept. 2018.

Cartwright, Mark. “Prometheus.” World Historical past Encyclopedia.

Fountain, Henry. “On the Printer, Dwelling Tissue.” The New York Occasions, 11 Aug. 2013.

Khademhosseini, Ali. “3-D. Expertise: Constructing a Higher Blood Vessel Video and Transcript.” Brigham and Girls’s Hospital.

Lord, Brian. “Bladder Grown From 3-D. Bioprinted Tissue Continued to Operate After 14 Years.” 3D Printing Business, 12 Sept. 2018.

Rabin, Roni Caryn. “Medical doctors Transplant Ear of Human Cells, Made by 3-D Printer.” The New York Occasions, 2 June 2022.

Rogers, Kristen. “When We’ll Be In a position to 3-D-Print Organs and Who Will Be In a position to Afford Them.” CNN, 10 March 2023.

Rosen, Ellen. “A Doable Weapon Towards the Pandemic: Printing Human Tissue.” The New York Occasions, 27 July 2020.

Tang, Jenny. “Organ Regeneration With 3-D Printing, and Future Functions.” Imperial Bioscience Evaluation, 28 Jan. 2022.

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