Since 3D printing was invented in the 1980s, this technology has continued to develop in the past few decades. Today, 3D printing can be used to repair Hong Kong’s coral reefs and print food. Perhaps one day, 3D printing can even produce human organs. A few days ago, the new research by the team from the University of Buffalo may take us one step closer to 3D printing human organs.
A few days ago, the team at the State University of New York at Buffalo, led by Professor Ruogang Zhao and Professor Chi Zhou, innovatively used a 3D printing method called stereolithography and a jelly shape called hydrogel. The material is 3D printed.
A 7-second video published on the official media account of Buffalo University shows the whole process of 3D printing a human hand model. In just a few seconds, a vivid human hand appeared out of thin air. The video was accelerated from the original 19 minutes, and the same printing task using a traditional 3D printer would take 6 hours.
The study’s co-first author, Dr. Zhao Ruogang, an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Buffalo, explained that the technology developed by the team is 10-15 times faster than industry standard 3D printers. In addition, the developed 3D printer can also work on larger sample sizes, which is usually not possible in traditional 3D printers.
The co-author of the study, Dr. Chi Zhou, explained that the method developed by the team to quickly print a centimeter-sized hydrogel model will significantly reduce part deformation and cell damage caused by long-term exposure of the material to environmental pressure.
The team emphasized that the developed method is particularly suitable for printing cells embedded in blood vessel networks. Researchers predict that in the near future, the developed technology will become an indispensable part of the production of 3D printed organs and human tissues.