When most think of 3-D printing, they typically imagine a new technology that uses additive processes to create a wide range of objects. However, did you know these machines can craft stem cells too? Israeli 3-D printer firm Nano Dimension recently set out on a mission to build a machine that could not only produce stem cells, but also develop them quicker than other machines.
They were successful.
"3D bioprinting enabled by the two companies' technologies means that Nano Dimension and Accellta have the potential to accelerate high-fidelity and high-viability manufacturing of living cellular products," the companies said, according to Reuters.
"The faster doctors are able to extract or grow cells, the quicker they can treat patients."
While the trial, conducted by Accellta Ltd., was only one step in what will be a long process to ensure their printers are viable medical tools, it was an important accomplishment. Currently most doctors extract stem cells from the human body. They then use stem cell therapy to treat serious health conditions and injuries. The faster doctors can extract or grow cells, the quicker they can treat patients. Nano Dimension and Accellta are well on their way to ensuring this happens.
"Accellta's technology can deliver large quantities of high-quality cells, which can be an enabler for printing even large and complex tissues and organs," the companies noted.
The global 3-D bioprinting market is booming and is expected to reach nearly $2 billion by 2022, according to Grand View Research Inc. The research firm cited a rise in chronic diseases as one of the major reasons experts expect the market to exponentially expand in the coming years.