An Australian periodontist has pioneered a new 3D printing technique that regrows missing gum tissue and jaw bones. Traditionally, bone and tissue replacements are taken from other parts of the body such as the hip or femur. Dr. Ivanovki’s method uses a bioprinter to grow missing tissue from a patient's own cells. This 3D printing alternative is much less invasive than bone replacement, and dramatically reduces the risk of infection or rejection.
Researchers from the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center's Institute for Regenerative Medicine have successfully grown and implanted vaginal organs into four teenage girls born with MRKH Syndrome, a rare condition in which the vagina is undeveloped. The scientists extracted the patient’s own stem cells and placed them onto a biodegradable scaffold of a vagina. The scaffolds were then implanted into the patient’s pelvis, and gradually the stem cells differentiated into a permanent, functional vagina.
The Ninth Annual Stem Cell Summit will take place on February 18th in New York City. The summit will feature presentations from the stem cell industry’s premier researchers, executives, and investors to address recent advances and this year’s expectations of the Stem Cell / Regenerative Medical industry.
As seen on the Science Channel’s “Futurescape” program, the host of the program, James Woods takes viewers on a journey of discovery as he explores the field of regenerative medicine and life extension. The program examines current and future applications of stem cells to grow organs and tissue to treat disease, trauma and injury as well as efforts to increase life expectancy and mitigate the effects of aging.
A multidisciplinary approach to the generation of organs is providing researchers with the tools to accelerate the application of regenerative therapies to often intractable medical problems – such as the dearth of organs available for transplantation. Using 3D printers and stem cells, researchers, such as Dr. Darryl D’Lima of the Scripps Clinic and Dr. Boland of the University of Texas at El Paso are ‘printing’ tissue and organs; developing techniques and processes they hope will allow them to create organs and tissue for human transplantation. Dr. Boland, who has done much of the basic research on bioprinting technologies said, “I think it is the future for regenerative medicine”.
Scientists at the University of Illinois have used a 3D-printer to create a bioresorbable airway splint that was used in a transplant to treat tracheobronchomalacia in a young boy whose prognosis prior to the transplant was fatal. Dr. Matthew Wheeler, a professor at the University of Illinois and a member of the Regenerative Biology and Tissue Engineering research team at the Institute for Genomic Biology hopes to add stem cells to the splint in order to accelerate healing.
Last month we reported on new technology that successfully prints organs using an ink jet printer. Recently researchers at Wake Forest University succeeded in enhancing the technology by combining the ink jet printer with an electro-spinning machine in order to print cartilage. This new hybrid printer produces stronger, more mechanically stable materials than other kinds of artificial cartilage that have been produced in the past while also simplifying the process of making implantable cartilage.