At beruby, we feel it is important to stay in touch with modern technology and the newest discoveries being tested on the market. Recently, there has been interest in a new area of research and engineering, the art of Bioprinting. With the rapid evolution of science and technology these new interests could bring a giant change for mankind. Bioprinting involves printing devices that deposit biological material and could potentially be used to create replacement organs or even entire organisms from raw biological materials.
Say goodbye to donor lists and organ shortages. A biotech firm has created a printer that prints veins using a patient’s own cells. If successful, bioprinters could potentially create entire organs in the future. In the sci-fi world, bioprinters have had their roles in movies such as The Fifth Element, where one of the main characters has her entire body created by a bioprinter in the opening scene of the movie.
To my surprise this type of print experiment has been taking place for quite some time and comes with its share of foreseeable pros and cons. Currently, people are attempting to expand the range of materials that can be fabricated using this type of 3D printer. The printers are also reported to be able to make “food” and have recently been reported to have helped to repair a casting of Rodin’s sculpture, The Thinker, which was damaged in a botched robbery.
Currently, the team at Cornell University’s Computational Synthesis Lab (CCSL) is building a 3D food printer which they hope one day will be as commonplace as the microwave oven or blender. As a foodie, I find this a little more than disturbing. On an idealistic grand scheme of things perhaps it would have its benefits in regards to all the starving children in the world, but I have my doubts when it pertains to the greater good of humankind.
So what does this type of printing mean for the future? Will we be sitting around the table eating our family meals straight from the printer? Will those needing organ transplants, not have to wait for suitable donors? Is this a good idea or is this science going too far?