Article

3D printed skin to help burn victims

  • Nimish Sany
  • 17 August , 2016

3D printed skin might soon become a reality, thanks to a group of researchers from China, who have dedicated their time I making that possible within the next few years, reports the state run news agency, Xinhua.

Wu Jun, Director of Southwest Hospital's Burns Institute in Chongqing said, “In printing skin, the biggest challenge is the ink, or the skin tissue. We need to find the right material that can be made into a certain form while not damaging its activity," adding that the technique is being experimented with pig skin.3D printing is often used to create reliable and sturdy plastic or metallic items and even houses, of lately. Printing out human skin or something relatively soft for that matter can make the process sophisticated. "Many other researchers are at the same stage as us, so we are moving fast to be the first to make this breakthrough," remarks Wu, brimming with optimism that the project could well be completed within the next three years. If successfully materialized, the project will serve to be of use to burn victims where the skin can be tailor made to each individual’s preferences and facial features.

However, Wu adds that it would be wrong to expect too much from the project as of now. "There are still a few more years to go until we can successfully print live tissue or organs," reported Xinhua. Previous reported have emerged where researchers have managed to successfully 3D print samples of tissue. However, creating a tissue that can adapt to real-life situation remains challenging. China has been encouraging 3d printing and has turned a major exporter of 3D printed medical and surgical supplies in the market. In June 2016, doctors at the Peking University replaced the vertebrae of five patients with 3D printed implants. Dai Kerong of the Chinese Academy of Engineering explains, "3D printing is changing medicine. This is only the beginning” He adds, “however, we must make sure 3D medical applications are properly supervised," 

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Nimish Sany: I bleed my thoughts on paper. And if I cant find a paper, blogs serve the purpose just fine.

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