3D printed tissues for facial reconstruction might indeed become a reality in the near future. This is being claimed by renewal materials specialist American Process Inc. who teamed up with the Swansea University Medical School in the U.K. They have been working on creating printed tissue cartilage that can be used in facial reconstruction surgery in a regular basis.
The project professor Ian Whitaker, said that they were trying to print tissues customized to the needs of patients. Many people lose their parts like the ear in accidents or fatal ailments like cancer. This technology will be geared as developing live tissues that could grow from their own cells using nanocellulose. Nanocellulose is the biomaterial used for this printing as it has components that are compatible to grow in three dimensions. Its biocompatibility, structural, and mechanical properties make it a suitable for use as the raw material in 3D printing. It is a type of bio-ink developed from living materials. Nanocellulose has a moisture retaining capacity and carries a gel-like consistency while printing but hardens into a thick structure that can constitute living cells efficiently.
This is the first steps of the bigger dream to 3D print biological organs in future. These are more viable as they provide near-term solutions and can be worked on quickly. Digital Trends is engaged in the manufacturing of 3D printed projects and plans to 3D print bone and cartilage implants for body parts that have been damaged and need to be reconstructed.
With these developments, it seems the 3d printing could become an intrinsic part of surgeries in future and would be used in a variety of medical sectors. It could give back new life to people who lose their facial features and look due to hazardous diseases, ailments, trauma, and accidents.