Health Care

Portable 3D Printer Can Directly Print Skin On A Person

Portable 3D Printer Can Directly Print Skin On A Person”

They say that this is the first device that's capable of forming skin directly on top of a wound in under two minutes.

According to the researchers, the printer is an alternative to a conventional skin graft, but doesn't require healthy skin to be removed from a donor and grafted on to a patient.

The same team of researchers had, four years ago, developed a 3-D printer as big as a microwave oven that was able to print layers of skin to heal burns. The researchers recently published a paper on the new device in the journal, Lab on a Chip.

In a statement, Dr. Axel Guenther, Associate professor who worked on the 3D skin printer with Navid Hakimi, a PhD student said that the current available 3D bioprinters are bulky, expensive, work at low speed and even incompatible with several clinical applications. Doctors would normally treat that with a technique called split-thickness skin grafting, but if the wound is too large, it's hard to find a sufficient quantity of donor skin. That leaves portions uncovered, leading to healing problems. Reportedly, the printer evenly deposits layers of skin tissues to fix the deep wounds in minutes. At less than one kilogram (2.2 pounds), the printer is also unusually lightweight, especially when compared to the aforementioned 3D-printing solutions.

This device basically looks like a white-out tape dispenser which users "bio ink" skin tissue to 3D print skin on the affected area.

Going forward, the researchers hope to add more features to the 3D skin printer and improve its capabilities, which could mean expanding the size of the wounds that could be treated.

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