International Space Station (ISS)

First living tissue 3D printed in space aboard the International Space Station

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First living tissue 3D printed in space aboard the International Space StationFirst living tissue 3D printed in space aboard the International Space Station

This is a guest post contribution by Egor Driagin, Chief Marketing Officer at Top 3D Shop.

First living tissue 3D printed in space aboard the International Space Station
This is a guest post contribution by Egor Driagin, Chief Marketing Officer at Top 3D Shop.

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The Top 3D Expo Conference which took place in Moscow on April 19 demonstrated a revolutionary bioprinter that was previously sent to the International Space Station (ISS) to manufacture living tissues and organ under zero gravity. Yusef Khesuani, the managing partner and co-founder of the 3D Bioprinting Solutions Company, presented and told many interesting facts about their brainchild.

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A 3D bioprinter named Organ.Aut was transported to the ISS on December 3, 2018, where it was used to carry out several biomedical experiments in orbit.

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Application in medicine

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Using this 3D bioprinter, Oleg Kononenko, a Russian astronaut, successfully manufactured several types of living tissue, namely, the cartilage tissue of a human and the thyroid of a mouse.

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The results of these experiments with 3D-printing were 12 biological samples which then were sent to the Russian company 3D Bioprinting Solutions, responsible for conducting further research.

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3D printing in zero gravity state empowers modern science to create tissues and organs for transplantation while helping to avoid the limitations of terrestrial gravitation and test new methods of printing complicated kinds of tissue from living cells.

In autumn 2019, it is planned to send to orbit special synthetic ceramic materials, which will be utilized to fabricate implants with the help of 3D printing technologies. Such implants will facilitate the regeneration of bone tissue in patients with serious injuries.

Application in foodstuff manufacturing

Apart from benefiting science and medicine, bioprinting can go much further and find application in food production, too. 3D Bioprinting Solutions together with foreign partners, bio-technological startups from different countries, are already working in this direction.

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They are studying the cultivation of artificial beef, blue tuna, and salmon from living cells. If these experiments succeed, in the measurable future, we will be able to produce cruelty-free, eco-friendly, technological-powered and, most important, inexpensive meat on a wholesale scale! The company received samples from its partners and now is testing them in terms of meeting technical requirements necessary for sending these samples to the ISS with a 3D printer onboard.

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Organ.Aut

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Organ.Aut is a bioprinter designed specifically to work with biological tissue (such as living cells in nutrient liquid) in space.

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This 3D bioprinter manages printing materials using magnet fields in order to form their structures, not layer by layer as is normally the case with FDM solutions, but from all the sides simultaneously.

In addition to the 3D bioprinter for space, the company also produces biological 3D printers which can be used on Earth.

FABION 2

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FABION 2 is an updated version of the company’s previous model – a basic bioprinter FABION able to print biological tissues using bio-inks and hydrogels of different consistencies and compositions. FABION 2 ensures high cell density and high level of synthesis of extracellular matrix proteins within spheroids, which provides for the creation of highly viable and fully functional tissue constructs.

At the Conference

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At the exhibition conference, visitors could see Organ.Aut and other cutting-edge equipment for 3D printing and scanning as well as listen to interesting reports from the field experts.

For instance, the head of 3D Bioprinting Solutions not only demonstrated the bioprinter and explained in simple words the principle of its work, but also gave a talk on the topic: “3D-bioprinting: its past, present, future”, under which, he speculated on the development of bioprinting in the world – how it was invented, its current situation, and prospects.

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