Bio printing is a process which uses 3D technology to print tissue and cell patterns. Some kind of materials called BIOINKS are used to create them in layers one after another which in turn are utilized in scientific experiments and engineering studies. This process is still in experimental stage but scientists believe that if it gets succeeded it will change the whole concept of organ replacement. As of now, it is used in studying about drugs and pills. Also it prints something called scaffolds which are used to join and reform damaged ligaments and joints.
How does it work?
Its first step is to take the design of the base tissue or organ and create a new design based on the composition of the bio matters. Ideally bio matters are the organs like heart, kidney or bones etc which are fed in to the bio printer using reverse engineering techniques to get bio parts. After taking the fundamental design from the bio parts, the printer, with the help of bio print head, puts in thin layers of cells. You need to select the configuration in accordance of which the bio print head moves to and fro or top and bottom. Just like in a Xerox machine there is a substance like ink which is called Bio ink or bio process protocol which is used in printing these organic materials. Also in some bioprinting applications a substance called Hydro gel is layered between cells to fill the gap between them as tissues are printed vertically to enable three- dimensionality. Print outs have to be taken in a confined space to retain the natural features of the original tissue. This process also called Bio mimicry.
These hydro gels are temperature resistant and can be used as solids at 32 degrees and also as liquids in 20 degrees. After the printing is done, it can be lowered to 20 degrees. In order to get cell sheets you need to coat the culture with hydro gel which will absorb water and dissolve in to solution .This way the cells will be separated from the native tissue but will be in connection with one another. Thus you can form a solid cell sheet and stack it for different uses.
Other areas of use:
Modern bio-technology has started using this method in creating skin for prosthetic limbs incase of amputation or transplantation. For this, a live skin cell is procured and designed using computer by means of nanotechnology.
Scientists hope that if further experiments become successful, there is no doubt that organ transplantation can give new life to the deceased.