Bio-printing is the layering of complex biological structures (tissue, organ) by the 3b printing process, precisely positioning the living cells. In the formation of biological structures; There are several approaches such as biomimicry, autonomous incorporation and mini-tissue building blocks. When forming biological structures, cells must be able to maintain their viability during the process. Biomimicry aims to produce biological structures that have the same characteristics as the actual biological structure by examining the nature and functionality of cells. Autonomic convergence aims to provide the same structural properties, cell localization and tissue functionality as the real biological structure by examining the interactions of cells with each other.
With the emergence of 3D printers as a revolution for production, these printers have several benefits in health. Normally, for the treatment of large wounds occurring in patients, skin grafts from the patient or another person had to be used. Researchers from the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) have developed a new bio-printer that can take two layers of the patient’s own skin and patch the wound.
The idea of getting skin grafts with 3D printers was a topic that was recently considered. In 2014, a prototype machine was able to print skin grafts and cut the grafts according to the size of the wound and patch the patient’s wound. With the developing technology, this area has begun to develop further.
The newly developed bio printer carries some of the properties of the previous 2 prototypes. The new device is large in size from any handheld device, but still incorporates features suitable for in-hospital use and transportation. Thanks to its wheels, it can be moved easily to the bed side and the patient lies under this printer.
Like the previous prototypes, this newly developed device uses the patient’s own cells to prevent tissue rejection. First, a small biopsy is taken from the patient’s skin and two different skin cells called fibroblasts and keratinocytes are isolated from the biopsy. Fibroblasts are the main cells responsible for the repair of wounds. Keratinocytes constitute the cell groups in the outer layer of the skin.
In the biopsy specimen taken, these cells are continuously produced and their numbers are increased. It is then mixed with a substance called hydrogel to create ink for the bio printer. The device is separated from the previous prototypes in this section. Instead of covering the patch directly on the wound like the previous devices, it scans the wound with the 3D laser scanner and removes the topology of the wound. He then uses this information to cover the deeper parts of the wound with fibroblasts and superficially with the upper part of the keratinocytes.
The new method imitates the skin’s self-healing mechanism and accelerates wound healing. The research team observed that the new skin began to shape out of the center of the wound by observing the experiments on the mice. It is important that this method is successful only when the patient’s own cells are used; In the experiments, it was observed that the tissues taken from different subjects were rejected by the organism.
James Yoo, the co-author of the study, stated that when the patient’s own cells are used, this application makes a great contribution to wound healing and that the healing process is much faster. He also added that there are many wound healing products on the market to treat wounds and help them heal, Yoo added.
Researchers, along with developing technology, this type of devices burn patients, patients with diabetic wounds and people with deep wounds will bring great convenience.