3D Skin Printing Technology

Some time ago I became fascinated with 3D printing technology. The idea of creating duplicates of an object from a blueprint reminded me of the replicator technology from Star Trek.

I’ve blogged before about the advances in 3D printing for both excellent medical uses, interesting new applications such as printing medications, and in potentially sinister uses with the printing of guns and other lethal weapons.

I read an interesting article recently about the advances in the medical use of 3D printing technology that will one day allow for intricate 3D printing of human tissue. Already there is 3D printing capability for use in various medical treatments. But, so far, most of the capability remains in printing human tissue for laboratory use in pharmaceutical testing and for further study.

The goal of medical 3D printing is to one day have the capability of printing viable human organs. The development of the Biopen, a hand-held 3D printing pen made of medical grade plastic and titanium, allows surgeons to draw personalized stem cells from a human and overlay them onto damaged tissue to heal itself.

The procedure is slow and deliberate, but a simplistic explanation is that a person’s stem cells are used to create a surgical scaffold using a mix of hydrogel and stem cells as the “ink” of the 3D printing pen to begin the tissue regeneration process.

At this point, scientists have been able to achieve a 97% survival rate for the stem cells used to generate human cartilage, but one of the more recent developments is the use of this process to create skin from one’s own stem cells.

This achievement of 3D printing human skin could become a major medical advancement to help patients heal from traumatic injuries, and could become especially significant for burn victims.

Of course, as with many medical advances, there can be both beneficial and ominous outcomes by using such technology. I can imagine that if 3D printing of skin becomes commonplace, our judicial system might no longer trust fingerprint technology to identify those involved in criminal activity. And, certainly, fingerprint security could no longer be trusted as foolproof.

Thoughts? Comments? I’d love to hear them!

About James J. Murray, Fiction Writer

With experience in both pharmaceutical manufacturing and clinical patient management, medications and their impact on one’s quality of life have been my expertise. My secret passion of murder and mayhem, however, is a whole other matter. I’ve always loved reading murder mysteries and thrillers, and longed to weave such tales of my own. Drawing on my clinical expertise as a pharmacist and my infatuation with the lethal effects of drugs, my tales of murder, mayhem and medicine will have you looking over your shoulder and suspicious of anything in your medicine cabinet.
This entry was posted in 3D Imaging Technology, 3D Printed Skin, 3D Printing, 3D Printing of Body Parts, 3D Printing of Human Tissue, 3D Replicators, A How To Blog on Murder Plot Ideas, A How To Blog on Murder Weapons, About James J. Murray, About Medications/Pharmacy, Blog Writers, Blogging, Creating Emotional Drama in a Murder Scene, Designing Murder Plots, Developing Storyline Ideas, Fiction Based on Facts, Fiction Based on Real Life, Generating Skin From Stem Cells, James J. Murray Blog, Murder Mayhem and Medicine, New Blog, New Research Technology, New Skin Treatments, Plot Ideas and Where They Come From, Prescription For Murder Blog, Story Development and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to 3D Skin Printing Technology

  1. Hmmm… it would seem reasonable, then, that 3D printing may one day become the prime source for organ transplants. What a boon that would be! Thanks for the insights, James.

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