Saga University in Japan and Cyfuse Biomedical, a biotech start-up in the field of regenerative medicine, have jointly developed arteries using patient's skin cells and 3D printing technology. It is reported that the 3D printed arteries can be used for artificial dialysis and transplantation in coronary artery bypass surgery. Saga Medical School Faculty of Medicine, Saga University is evaluating transplantation in experimental animals. After clinical trials are completed, researchers expect the technology to be used in human therapy in 2018.
During the dialysis treatment, large amount of blood are delivered to the dialysis machine. The artificial blood vessels that are widely used is made of resin, which could in some case cause bacterial infection in vivo. The 3D printed blood vessels uses the patient's own cells and can easily mobilize patient's immunity.
In order to reproduce the 3D shape of vascular tissue, the research team adds numerous 10 mm long, 0.1 mm diameter metal needles on the 3D printer. By adjusting needles' length and quantity researchers could change the thickness of blood vessels. The team has successfully printed 2-3mm diameter blood vessels in 10 days time using this needle array system.
The technology is patented in Japan, US, China and Singapore and researchers are applying for patents in other countries. The United States has also begun development of related technologies. If Japan accelerates the pace of trials, it is likely Japan could be one step ahead of others.
In April 2012, Cyfuse's technology for production of scaffold-free three-dimensional cell constructs from living cells, invented by Dr. Koichi Nakayama of Cyfuse Biomedical, was granted US patent. This technology will enable researchers to develop a wide range of cell-products for restoring tissues and organs safely and efficiently. Check out the video below:
Posted in 3D Printing Technology
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