3D Printing

3D Printing nerve networks with living neurons.

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Medical research with a revolutionary breakthrough has taken place that promises to reshape the way we understand and explore the human nervous system. Engineers have achieved a milestone that was once thought to be the stuff of science fiction – the creation of 3D nerve networks using “bioinks” infused with living neurons. This innovative technique opens the door to crafting 3D neural circuits that closely emulate the intricate connections found within the human brain. At the heart of this scientific marvel lies the ingenious use of “bioinks.” These bioinks are not ordinary inks but specially formulated materials teeming with living neurons. Researchers have harnessed the power of these bioinks to bridge the gap between gray and white matter, a feat previously deemed extraordinarily challenging.

One of the key highlights of this groundbreaking achievement is the faithful replication of the brain’s gray-and-white matter arrangement. Two distinct bioinks were employed in this process: one infused with living cells and the other without. This approach closely mimics the natural architecture of the human brain, where gray matter (comprising cell bodies and dendrites) and white matter (comprising axons) coexist. The results of this pioneering work are nothing short of astonishing. The 3D neural structures that emerged from this process are a testament to the possibilities of modern engineering. These structures not only replicate the gray-and-white matter arrangement but also exhibit authentic connections. Neurites, the thread-like extensions of nerve cells, intricately link different cortex layers within these 3D neural circuits, mirroring the complexity of the human brain.

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this achievement is the newfound life within these 3D-printed nerve networks. These bioprinted networks exhibit spontaneous nerve activity, akin to the firing of neurons in a living brain. They respond to stimuli, a behavior that was once thought to be exclusive to organic neural networks. The implications of this advance are profound. It ushers in a new era of neurological research, offering a deeper understanding of disease mechanisms, drug effects on the nervous system, and the intricacies of neural activity. These 3D-printed nerve networks serve as a powerful tool for unraveling the mysteries of the human brain.

As we stand on the precipice of a new frontier in neuroscience and bioprinting, the work of these engineers at Monash University serves as a beacon of hope. Their success in creating 3D nerve networks that come to life within the laboratory holds the promise of transformative discoveries and breakthroughs that could change the landscape of medicine as we know it.

3D-Printed Nerve Networks Come Alive. Research Article/Open Access. Yue YaoHarold A. ColemanLaurence MeagherJohn S. ForsytheHelena C. Parkington. First published: 27 June 2023. 3D Functional Neuronal Networks in Free-Standing Bioprinted Hydrogel Constructs.

Source: Monash University. In the laboratories of Monash University, engineering researchers have accomplished the seemingly impossible. They have used “bioinks” infused with living nerve cells, or neurons, to 3D-print nerve networks that not only grow but also transmit and respond to nerve signals. This achievement is more than a scientific marvel; it is a testament to human ingenuity and the boundless possibilities of modern medicine.

3D-Printed tiny home where innovation meets affordability.

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Construction innovation often comes with a hefty price tag. But what if we told you that a Japanese company has managed to 3D print a concrete tiny home for the same price as an average car? For years, the concept of 3D-printed homes has tantalized our imaginations. The idea of a machine constructing an entire house, layer by layer, seemed like science fiction. However, this technology has rapidly evolved, and it’s no longer a distant dream. Japanese construction company In a world where housing prices continue to soar, Japan-based housing company Serendix is pioneering an innovative solution that could change the way we think about homeownership. This achievement is not only impressive but potentially transformative.

Serendix made waves back in March 2022 when they unveiled the ‘serendix10,’ a 3D-printed home that took less than 24 hours to print. By October, all six editions of this revolutionary home had been sold out. Riding on the success of the serendix10, the company embarked on a new venture—designing and constructing the serendix50, also known as the ‘barnacle model.’The inspiration behind the serendix50 was the demand from older married couples seeking a comfortable home for their retirement years. The result? A 538-square-foot masterpiece created in just 44 hours and 30 minutes. What’s particularly interesting about the serendix50 is that it combines two digital fabrication techniques: 3D printing for the framework and CNC cutting for the roofing.

The serendix50 comes with a price tag of $34,000. Yes, you read that right—$34,000! That’s a staggering 90% less than the average house price in Japan. It’s a game-changer, making homeownership a reality for many who might have thought it was out of reach. With this achievement, Serendix is opening the door to a future where ordinary people can purchase high-quality, safe, and affordable homes without the burden of a mortgage.
Serendix’s statement perfectly captures the essence of this breakthrough: “Until now, the house was haute couture (depending on the craftsman), and it was natural that the cost was high at tens of millions of yen. In the automotive industry, 40 years ago, the price reduction of products began due to the innovation of the manufacturing process using robots. We believe that the 3D printer house is the beginning of complete robotization of the housing industry.”This isn’t just a technological feat; it’s a societal shift. It’s akin to how robots revolutionized the automotive industry four decades ago, making cars more accessible to the masses. Now, Serendix is doing the same for the housing industry, marking the dawn of a new era. The serendix50 joins the ranks of impressive projects. It showcases the potential of 3D printing in creating affordable housing solutions, addressing one of the most pressing challenges of our time. It’s not just about constructing houses; it’s about reshaping the way we envision homeownership.

As we look to the future, projects like the serendix50 remind us that innovation knows no bounds. It’s a testament to human ingenuity and the limitless possibilities of technology. With affordable 3D-printed houses on the horizon, the dream of owning a home can become a reality for more people than ever before. Serendix has ignited a spark of hope, and we can’t wait to see where this journey takes us.

By Niall Patrick Walsh.“Japan’s Serendix Completes ‘Serendix50’: A 3D-Printed House for the Price of a Car.” Aug 17, ’23 11:42 AM EST. Japanese company delivers 3D printed home bought for the price of a car.