How to 3D print human tissue – Taneka Jones

How to 3D print human tissue – Taneka Jones

There are currently hundreds of thousands
of people on transplant lists, waiting for critical organs like kidneys,
hearts, and livers that could save their lives. Unfortunately, there aren’t nearly enough donor organs
available to fill that demand. What if instead of waiting, we could create brand-new, customized
organs from scratch? That’s the idea behind bioprinting, a branch of regenerative medicine
currently under development. We’re not able to print complex
organs just yet, but simpler tissues including blood
vessels and tubes responsible for nutrient
and waste exchange are already in our grasp. Bioprinting is a biological
cousin of 3-D printing, a technique that deposits layers of
material on top of each other to construct a three-dimensional object
one slice at a time. Instead of starting with metal, plastic,
or ceramic, a 3-D printer for organs and
tissues uses bioink: a printable material that
contains living cells. The bulk of many bioinks are water-rich
molecules called hydrogels. Mixed into those are
millions of living cells as well as various chemicals that
encourage cells to communicate and grow. Some bioinks include a
single type of cell, while others combine several different
kinds to produce more complex structures. Let’s say you want to print a meniscus, which is a piece of cartilage in the knee that keeps the shinbone and thighbone
from grinding against each other. It’s made up of cells called chondrocytes, and you’ll need a healthy supply of
them for your bioink. These cells can come from donors whose
cell lines are replicated in a lab. Or they might originate from a
patient’s own tissue to create a personalized meniscus less
likely to be rejected by their body. There are several printing techniques, and the most popular is extrusion-based
bioprinting. In this, bioink gets loaded into a
printing chamber and pushed through a round nozzle
attached to a printhead. It emerges from a nozzle that’s rarely
wider than 400 microns in diameter, and can produce a continuous filament roughly the thickness
of a human fingernail. A computerized image or file guides the
placement of the strands, either onto a flat surface or into a
liquid bath that’ll help hold the structure in place
until it stabilizes. These printers are fast, producing the
meniscus in about half an hour, one thin strand at a time. After printing, some bioinks
will stiffen immediately; others need UV light or an additional
chemical or physical process to stabilize the structure. If the printing process is successful, the cells in the synthetic tissue will begin to behave the same way
cells do in real tissue: signaling to each other, exchanging
nutrients, and multiplying. We can already print relatively simple
structures like this meniscus. Bioprinted bladders have also been
successfully implanted, and printed tissue has promoted facial
nerve regeneration in rats. Researchers have created lung tissue,
skin, and cartilage, as well as miniature, semi-functional
versions of kidneys, livers, and hearts. However, replicating the complex
biochemical environment of a major organ
is a steep challenge. Extrusion-based bioprinting may destroy a significant percentage of cells in the
ink if the nozzle is too small, or if the printing pressure is too high. One of the most formidable challenges is how to supply oxygen and nutrients
to all the cells in a full-size organ. That’s why the greatest successes so far have been with structures
that are flat or hollow— and why researchers are busy
developing ways to incorporate blood vessels
into bioprinted tissue. There’s tremendous potential to use
bioprinting to save lives and advance our
understanding of how our organs function
in the first place. And the technology opens up a dizzying
array of possibilities, such as printing tissues with
embedded electronics. Could we one day engineer organs that
exceed current human capability, or give ourselves features like
unburnable skin? How long might we extend human life
by printing and replacing our organs? And exactly who—and what— will have access to this technology
and its incredible output?

100 thoughts on “How to 3D print human tissue – Taneka Jones

  1. Ted-Ed. I ❤ your videos and wanted to see if you were able in a foreseeable future make a video about the "Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo"? All these younger Hispanics would learn a lot about the tactics the US used to steal land. I hope you will take it into consideration #tedtalk #ted ❤

  2. Its amazing how science can help millions of people
    But only if we educate people about it
    Doing a great job TED Ed

  3. If you need a transplant you can do it in China. There are always ready and healthy organs there and surgery can be done in just two weeks

  4. I'm currently on a transplant list for a new kidney. I've been on dialysis for over two years, and they say the average wait time for someone with my blood type (o+) is 3-4 years. They also say that a living donor is longer lasting than a cadaver. So, would anyone be willing to give me a kidney?

  5. Maybe jellyfish venomous tentacles can be used as capillaries , unless we are all agreeing to become biomechanically or cybernetically enhanced or handicapped by our new technologies there isn’t enough scientific researchers but plenty of military where is the funding going oops I forgot it goes to congressional retirement funds “facepalm”

  6. This is so futuristic and mind-boggling that it blows me away. I hope I will live till the time when all aforementioned things become possible and accessible.

  7. If they could expand to whole world and registered into medical associations, there would be more investors coming, whole researches will be completed, and human will have better lives

  8. Its far future guys. There is a lot better solution for producing organs. Improvements in genetics will make possible xenotransplantation and xenotransplantation will change medicine!

  9. Once we chop away the forests and use the timber to fuel these factories to produce technology to work for us, where exactly are we going to get the oxygen to breathe and also for these so-called organs? My advice is… grow a brain!

  10. Memorize The Periodic Table in 3 minutes (simple English sentences)(guareteed).Checkout the channel Educational shortcuts.

  11. Can't wait for the future where my brain can devise a way to ed print a copy of itself and therefore improve it

  12. I don't think the tech is so cost efficient to be useful to a greater portion of public, at least the ones hypothesised at the end. Mostly there can be ethical issues and a lot of restrictions on usage, which might again fail the purpose of the while research.

  13. Biology is basically just a way more advanced type of technology.
    Its a joke that we are even made out of it, but still don’t know how to use it.

    Think about vision..
    so far we managed to improve it with glasses..
    while our eyes sense particles emitted by the Sun (and think of it.. its a star located extremely far away from our planet) that move a lightspeed (something we barely understand) and get reflected by matter. Then it uses that data to send a 3D image to something even way more complicated… conciseness.
    And while being able to do all this.. we can’t come up with something better than glasses..
    Even worse.. we started do destroy nature it instead of using it.

  14. I am translating this video into arabic for TED-ED. Once it is available I hope to be useful and delightful for all Arabic speakers and others who are interested in.

  15. It's amazing. I still remember once our teacher said that they have already created artificial blood vessels to replace the arteries in the heart to cure CVD

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