Monday, 18 September 2017

Engineers Developing Methods to Construct Blood Vessels Using 3D Printing Technology

3D Printing Technology
From time to time new and interesting news about 3D printing technology in the field of health arise. In the near future, this technology will allow fabrics to be created on demand to repair any organ affected by an illness. There are a lot of medical advances commencing day to day and 3D printing technology is one among them which is really an astonishing factor in the field of medical science.

However, in spite of the promising of these and other advances, to date, it has only been possible to create fine tissues of living cells in the laboratory using 3D printing technology. When we tried to create tissues with a thickness greater than several layers of cells, those in the intermediate layers died from lack of oxygen and the impossibility of eliminating their residues.

They did not have a network of blood vessels to transmit oxygen and nutrients to each cell. Therefore the challenge was served because if a network of blood vessels were artificially created for this purpose using 3D printing technology, larger and more complex cell tissues could be developed.

To solve this problem, the team led by Professor Changxue Xu of Industrial, Manufacturing and system engineering and with his colleague Edward. E. Whitacre Junior college of Engineering has used a 3D printing technology specially adapted for this purpose with three different types of bio-inks. The first head extrudes a biotin of the extracellular compound, the biological material that binds the cells in the tissue. The second extrude a type of biotin which contains extracellular tissue and living cells.

An alternative to more complex installations

The creation of model blood vessels to aid in the study of diseases, such as strokes, can be complicated and costly in addition to consuming a lot of time. And the results can not always be truly representative of a human vessel. Changxue Xu's research has designed a new method to create models of veins and arteries using 3D printing technology that is more efficient, less expensive and more accurate. Changxue Xu and his team have created vascular channels using 3D printing technology.

An important advance is the ability to establish multiple layers of cells in the channels. Normally, when these microfluidic vascular chips are made, they only have one layer of cells. But the blood vessels within the body are composed of three to four different types of cells. The innermost cells, the endothelial cells, are those that come into contact with the blood, but the other layers of the cells help the internal cells. If there is an injury or a blood clot, there is an entire reaction that takes place between these cells.

3D printing technology has now made a difference in manufacturing. "We can use 3D printing technology to create the mold and use that mold to inject any gel and cells in whatever shape we want," says Changxue Xu. The difficulty so far was that much of the work has usually been done in "clean rooms," rooms that are environmentally controlled to prevent contamination and ultra-disinfected. Changxue Xu has a room like that, so the work has to be done at other universities.

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