Author:Stefan Reschke (Fraunhofer INT)
Paper short abstract:
This contribution summarises recent progress of and highlights in bioprinting (3-dimensional printing with biomaterials) with respect to restaurative and regenerative medicine. It contextualises with converging technologies and sketches future enhanced bodies, purely biological as well as 'cyborgs'.
Paper long abstract:
The use of 3-dimensional printing, more correctly "additive manufacturing", for medical purpose is already quite established in the domain of providing 3D models of body parts. These are in use for medical education and training, and increasingly also printed on demand for short term preoperative surgical planning of high-risk operations. For the latter, rapid prototyping of exact 3D patient models next to the operation theatre is viable, to date with a speed up to 300 mm/h at a resolution of 100µ.
More recently, bioprinting involving living cells, decellularised structures, growth factors and other natural materials has seen major breakthroughs. Over the last 10 years, various patient-specific soft and hard tissues have been successfully bioprinted and implanted. Examples range from synthetic trachea to autologous vaginal organs to heart valves and various bone replacements.
Ongoing research is close to prove first fully functional autologous organs. In combination with 4th generation biomaterials and cell-specific micro-nano support structures for electrical or chemical nerve-technology interfacing, future enhanced super bodies, purely biological as well as 'cyborgs', come into reach.
Enhancement Cultures and Future Bodies