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Surgical 3D printing BioPen writes in bone, nerve and muscle
DVICE ^ | 02/07/2014 | Colin Druce-McFadden

Posted on 02/07/2014 8:25:53 AM PST by SeekAndFind

Credit: University of Wollongong

Scientists at the University of Wollongong (that's a real place) in Australia have developed a device that replaces traditional surgery with something more akin to an art project. The BioPen is a handheld 3D printer that can actually print bone directly onto patients during surgery. Soon, surgeons will simply be able to doodle their patients back to health.

The BioPen uses a stem cell ink which can be coaxed into differentiating into muscle, bone, or nerve cells. A seaweed-based growth culture encourages the cells to thrive in their new environment while a second polymer, cured by the use of a UV light, provides a protective shell during the healing process. The complex and adaptive bio-ink can even be further augmented to include growth hormone and other substances that would encourage rapid recovery.

Obviously, the BioPen isn't quite ready for commercial use just yet. Next stop for this bone-writing wonder is St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne, where it will undergo clinical testing. If all goes well, we could eventually see surgeons world-wide signing up for art classes in preparation for their new jobs as the human body's installation artists.

University of Wollongong, via CNET


TOPICS: Computers/Internet; Health/Medicine; Science
KEYWORDS: 3dprinting; surgery

1 posted on 02/07/2014 8:25:54 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

I having my _____ redrawn this weekend.


2 posted on 02/07/2014 8:27:48 AM PST by DannyTN
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To: SeekAndFind
"I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way!"

3 posted on 02/07/2014 8:29:18 AM PST by DannyTN
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To: SeekAndFind

a quantum leap forward in “medicine” while we undergo several quantum leaps backwards in society...

Were our progress as a nation and a world as welcome!

Thanks


4 posted on 02/07/2014 8:29:36 AM PST by MeshugeMikey ("When you meet the unbelievers, strike at their necks..." -- Qur'an 47:4)
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To: SeekAndFind

Just in time - I’m down to my last few microns of cartilage in both shoulders.


5 posted on 02/07/2014 8:33:08 AM PST by skeeter
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To: SeekAndFind

Link says they are using human embryonic stem cells as the “ink”.

Aside from the moral questions, embryonic stem cells outside of their natural environment, a human in very early development, grow wild. They don’t necessarily grow in to the target tissue, in this case bone, because of their pluripotency. And they tend to grow wild due to their natural proliferating capabilities.


6 posted on 02/07/2014 8:33:27 AM PST by ifinnegan
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To: SeekAndFind; AFPhys; AD from SpringBay; ADemocratNoMore; aimhigh; AnalogReigns; archy; ...
Not quite a 3-D Printer ping...

Some day her prints will come

One body part at a time...

7 posted on 02/07/2014 8:35:12 AM PST by null and void (<--- unwilling cattle-car passenger on the bullet train to serfdom)
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To: SeekAndFind

Organovo is developing 3D human organs that will hopefully be used in transplants.
http://www.organovo.com/


8 posted on 02/07/2014 8:36:49 AM PST by Rusty0604
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To: ifinnegan

All the mechanicals work, they can easily change the ink to adult stem cells derived from the patient.


9 posted on 02/07/2014 8:36:58 AM PST by null and void (<--- unwilling cattle-car passenger on the bullet train to serfdom)
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To: null and void
Some day her prints will come

*groan*

10 posted on 02/07/2014 8:39:55 AM PST by bigheadfred
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To: SeekAndFind

Interesting. I’m over due for shoulder surgery.

Gives a person things to think about.


11 posted on 02/07/2014 8:40:08 AM PST by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
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To: ifinnegan

Everything I have heard indicates that adult stem cells are actually better suited for this kind of application. Not sure why they would be using embryonic ones here.


12 posted on 02/07/2014 8:41:50 AM PST by skeeter
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To: null and void

Yes.

At least in theory.

One thing about such a process is that the deposition is going to be very damaging to cells. But it doesn’t need 100% integrity to be effective, just enough cells. Even a 1% rate of intact cells could be effective.

The human embryonic stem cells are hardier than adult stem cells and can be obtained in much more plentiful numbers. So development with more safe and theoretically more effective adult stem cells won’t be easy.

Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a great idea that may work out well over time and help a lot of people.


13 posted on 02/07/2014 8:43:59 AM PST by ifinnegan
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To: null and void

...after surgery lasting only 26 days...


14 posted on 02/07/2014 8:44:34 AM PST by bigheadfred
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To: skeeter

See my previous post on this.


15 posted on 02/07/2014 8:44:35 AM PST by ifinnegan
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To: DannyTN
I having my _____ redrawn this weekend.

HA !!

16 posted on 02/07/2014 8:44:37 AM PST by Lizavetta
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To: ifinnegan
The human embryonic stem cells are hardier than adult stem cells and can be obtained in much more plentiful numbers.

Source please?

Adult stem cells are derived from fat cells, I personally could provide the Nation's needs!

17 posted on 02/07/2014 8:47:04 AM PST by null and void (<--- unwilling cattle-car passenger on the bullet train to serfdom)
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To: skeeter; ifinnegan
Not sure why they would be using embryonic ones here.

Because the technology is still in it's infancy.

: )

18 posted on 02/07/2014 8:50:27 AM PST by UCANSEE2 (I forgot what my tagline was supposed to say)
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To: Dead Corpse
Gives a person things to think about.

Speaking of thinking.... How soon before they can graft on more brains ?

19 posted on 02/07/2014 8:52:50 AM PST by UCANSEE2 (I forgot what my tagline was supposed to say)
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To: Dead Corpse
Gives a person things to think about.

Speaking of thinking.... How soon before they can graft on more brains ?

20 posted on 02/07/2014 8:54:09 AM PST by UCANSEE2 (I forgot what my tagline was supposed to say)
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To: UCANSEE2

*rimshot*


21 posted on 02/07/2014 8:55:49 AM PST by skeeter
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To: null and void

Adult stem cells are derived from all sorts of different places.

The fat derived cells are not necessarily multi potent

Bone marrow derived adult stem cells are most characterized.

Often claims to fat cell derived stem cells are quite premature and are based upon some marker gene expression changes that don’t necessarily correlate with a true differentiation.


22 posted on 02/07/2014 8:58:14 AM PST by ifinnegan
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To: UCANSEE2
Ok... that made my brain tingle with excitement.

Professor Solomon Selzer, eat your heart out you manky git...


23 posted on 02/07/2014 9:07:43 AM PST by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
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To: SeekAndFind

24 posted on 02/07/2014 9:22:47 AM PST by Slyfox (We want our pre-existing HEALTH INSURANCE back!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Cue the reconstitution scene from The 5th Element.

Can they make clones with that? The world could use a few more Milla Jovovichs.


25 posted on 02/07/2014 9:27:47 AM PST by Seraphicaviary (St. Michael is gearing up. The angels are on the ready line.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Now if they can keep the surgical site infection free. Very few people that I know have had surgeries in the last eight years without further complications from infection.


26 posted on 02/07/2014 10:13:20 AM PST by listenhillary (Courts, law enforcement, roads and national defense should be the extent of government)
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To: SeekAndFind
A million years from now archaeologists will wonder why “Elroy was here” was carved into bones.
27 posted on 02/07/2014 10:14:47 AM PST by bgill
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To: listenhillary

My BIL is battling all sorts of infections from a surgery 6 months ago. They go in and drain it - more infections. The cut out tissue - more infections. They give antibiotics - it went super strain. Now his kidneys are failing. It’s been down, down, down hill since.


28 posted on 02/07/2014 10:22:24 AM PST by bgill
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To: skeeter
"Just in time - I’m down to my last few microns of cartilage in both shoulders."

Same here, but I need an L5 disk first, then ACL in my right knee, then shoulder cartilage - unless I can get the nerves regenerated in my neck...

Glad this is being done in Australia where they don't have the ObamaCare device tax to kill innovation.

29 posted on 02/07/2014 11:06:58 AM PST by uncommonsense (Liberals see what they believe; Conservatives believe what they see.)
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To: SeekAndFind

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why penmanship is important for a doctor...


30 posted on 02/07/2014 12:35:44 PM PST by null and void (<--- unwilling cattle-car passenger on the bullet train to serfdom)
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