A new tissue engineering technique coupled with special mechanisms has given rise to a new form of bio-engineering which may one day generate new organs.
BioP3, a new device created by scientists at the Brown University holds immense potential in tissue engineering. It can already generate new tissues and scientists at the University are hopeful that it will play a defining role in creating organs as well.
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Currently 3D printing of organs is seen as one way of achieving sustenance for organ replacement in the future. However, the technology used in BioP3 could give 3D printing in bio-engineering a good run.
The device is currently manually operated by the scientists given the early nature of the invention.
The idea behind the technology is stacking up of tissue pieces one over another. The tissue pieces here are known as “micro-tissues” and are created using a technique called “micro-moulding”. This technique was also developed by the same scientists at Brown as part of the larger process.
Using micro-moulding, cells can be made to take any shape as directed. These individual pieces, or micro-tissues, are then stacked one over the other using a suction nozzle. After a “short time”, these tissues bind together to form the larger composition in the form of an organ.
However, given the lack of automation in this new system, it takes over an hour to stack merely a handful of micro-tissues. The resultant formation is much smaller than what a full-sized organ would be like.
On a brighter note, the group recently received about 1.4 Million in funding and with sustained development, this technology could compete with the currently propagated plan of using bio-printing to make organs which takes tediously long time.
What started as merely tissue engineering could soon lead to faster generation of body organs.
Source: Grand View Research