…University of Iowa (UI)’s Mechanical and Industrial Department established its bioprinting lab in 2011.
Among other advancements, UI has recently discovered a manner in which organ transplantation and drug testing is completed. According to Dr. Ibrahim Tarik Ozbolat, Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, initially they were only able to print cells, “but now we can print tissues and also print the tissues on animals directly.” The major improvement is the result of using 3D printing. Dr. Ozbolat states that bioprinting is the “process of generating spatially controlled cell patterns using 3D printing technologies.” Generally, it involves “a layer-by-layer approach to generate tissue-like 3D structures for use in the medical field of tissue engineering.”
Thus, bioprinting can make it possible to print everything from simple tissues to entire organs. This results in printed material, known as “biomaterial,” which is stronger than average bodily materials such as soft tissue and even bone. UI has focused its attention on printing blood vessels, pancreatic tissue, bone tissue, and cartilage tissue. By focusing its attention on it, points out Dr. Ozbolat, “We believe we can make functional tissues and organs for transplantation or drug testing using bioprinting.” Their current work centers around developing a “bioprinting bone tissue for cranial defects on rat models.” …
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! We also offer the LulzBot TAZ – Open source 3D Printer and the Printrbot Simple Metal 3D Printer in our store. If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!