Much like in other countries around the globe, there is still so much room for further growth and improvement to 3D printing Australia.
For patients who are afflicted by some kind of chronic illness, or maybe are in critical condition, the amount of time they need to spend to wait for a matching organ donor can translate to a matter of life or death.
In the United States last year, more than 113,000 people, consisting of men, women, and children, were on the national organ transplant master list. It is sad to know, though, that the scarcity of organ donors would just continue to go and this is due to the persisting stagnation in the number of people willing to become organ donors.
The scientific and the medical community saw the huge potential for human organ bioprinting in alleviating our dependence on human transplants. However, the working idea behind 3D printing of the human body parts, up to this day, is still considered by the very people working in the health and wellness industry as a relatively new concept. To be honest, it will take us a long while before we can set ourselves completely independent of these resources.
Do you have an idea what could be the biggest challenge the Australian and the global medical community is faced with regarding this? 3D printed human organs and bones make use of bio-materials, and they are bio-compatible to the individual.
In simple language, this signifies that surgeons are utilizing human cells to help them create a usable “ink” to be used in the bioprinting process. Otherwise, they will not be able to successfully build an implantable organ.
Yet, further research and study about this is still a work in progress although there have been numerous successful 3D printed organs and bones already being used by medical health professionals.
Bioprinted Human Organs are Now In Use
The primer on 3D printed organs are 2D organs, and they are human skin. This served as a precursor to the medical space in their creation of custom skin grafts, consequently accelerating the overall procedure and thus improving the expected results.
Implants are also taking the place of bone and cartilage, such as trachea splinters, jawbones, hip bones, and teeth. Right this very moment 3D printing is effecting revolutionary changes in the dental industry and not very long ago, in 2018, the first-ever 3D jaw bone intended for use in post-cancer reconstruction was received by an Australian woman.
To date, there have been over 100,000 hip bones implants that have been implanted to patients in the past few decades, and medical professionals behind these successes are optimistic that the same technology can be used for partial replacement of bones to people suffering from osteoporosis.
3D printed organs are essentially cultivated from the patient’s cells, and it will be sized to fit him. By this measure, the odds that the patient’s immune system will auto-reject the transplanted organ will be lessened.
Theoretically speaking, there is an unlimited supply of 3D printed organs. In addition to that, we can also manufacture them in no time. This signifies that there is no more need to have a transplant waiting list. Moreover, the issue of bio-compatibility with patients that happen to have a rarer blood type will be no more.
In the current state of things, we can’t completely ditch our transplant waiting list as of yet because we still have a long way to go in terms of research and success rate in 3D printing human organs and bones.
But with the sustained growth and development of the 3D printing Australia industry, we might find ourselves up for some surprise that we are not too far off as we think.