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3 D Printing Essay

1059 words - 5 pages

Anthony Atala delivers an inspirational talk about cell and organ reproduction. This speech talks about our current state with cell reproduction and where it’s headed with the aid of 3D printers. It also shows us the need for this technology as organ donors currently aren’t matching the number of recipients needing a transplant. Atala's speech on 3D printed organs was easily understandable to the average person, and his visuals were captivating and the success story of a person receiving a 3D printed bladder was inspiring. He clearly describes the how they use biomaterials with cells and how they work, and shows the future of this technology and how it works.
Anthony speaks about how they use biomaterials and what they do in order to have cells inhabit them. These biomaterials need to be able to work with your body and help regenerate cells. Anthony points out that they used biomaterials to replace and repair a patients structure. How they achieved that was that the biomaterials acted as a bridge that the cells could gather on to recover the specific area. Negative outcomes of these materials involve potential lot to lot variability of the material, depending on the source, as well as needing to ensure the purity of the protein before placing it into the patient to avoid triggering an immune response. These scaffolds often have a limited range of properties and sometimes need to be optimized for stem cell culture. Although the use of biomaterials is a great substance to generate cells there are downsides to the use of these materials, and require special care to be implemented successfully. As Anthony spoke of biomaterials, he gave some detail pertaining to how these structures work, but lacked demonstration or a more visual concept to give a clearer understanding upon how they look and work.
Anthony does a great job informing us of the future technology of these printers and what he sees them accomplishing. He just doesn’t give a brief talk of what might happen, he is saying what is soon to come and what they are working on right now. In the talk he says that they’re working on a printer that scans the patient and prints directly on them. Once the wound is detected it sends information in the correct layer of cells and where they need to be. For now he says the technology is still under development. This is very informative in telling us what their approach to the new printers feature and what their goal is. "At the moment, 3D printing uses single materials, a polymer or a metal, which are fused together with a laser. You can create interwoven geometries but they're still passive. What we're looking to do, is activate those and make them functionalize. So rather than make a component, you make the whole system—an example might be rather than print a case for a mobile phone, you make the whole phone—all the electronics, the case, the structural aspects, all in one print." Richard Hague, from the University of Nottingham states that printers...

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