Image Posted on Updated on
3D Printed Microscopic Robotic Fish
Nano-engineers at University of California, San Diego have been able to 3D print microscopic robots. They developed tiny robots shaped like fish. These are called microfish and are smaller than the width of human hair. Nanoparticles are added in various parts of the microfish to make them functional. Platinum nanoparticles installed in their tails help them propel forward. Magnetic nanoparticles installed in their head can be used to steer them.
The microfish are developed using a 3D printing technology called microscale continuous optical printing. This technology allows 3D printing hundreds of microfish within seconds. The shapes of the microbots to be changed, for example, to experiment with different shapes of fish such as sharks vs. ray fish, or experiment with other shapes such as birds.
According to Wei Zhu, a researcher developing the technology “We have developed an entirely new method to engineer nature-inspired microscopic swimmers that have complex geometric structures and are smaller than the width of a human hair. With this method, we can easily integrate different functions inside these tiny robotic swimmers for a broad spectrum of applications.” For example, toxic neutralizing particles can be included in the microfish to use them for detoxifying liquids. In future, this technology may allow delivery of medicine to specific parts of body via a blood stream.
Image Posted on Updated on
Organovo: 3d Printing Living Tissue
Organovo is a medical research company headquartered in San Diego which designs and develops three dimensional human tissue. The living 3D printed tissue can be used for testing drugs before giving the drugs to a real person. Organovo uses a proprietary bioprinting platform called NovoGen for 3D printing tissue.
Pharmaceutical companies conventionally perform testing on animals or on cells in petri-dishes. Both methods of testing are very different from testing on a living person. Therefore several clinical trials fail when tried on living person even if they were considered successful on animals or cells in petri-dish. Organovo technology bridges this gap by providing 3D tissue models that are much closer to a living person. Pharmaceutical companies can use the 3D tissues developed using this technology for testing.
In 2014 Organovo announced commercial release of exVive3DTM Human Liver Tissue for preclinical drug discovery testing. In April 2015, Organovo presented results of 3D printing in vitro 3D kidney tissue at the 2015 Experimental Biology conference in Boston. In 2015 L’Oreal signed an agreement with Organovo to produce 3D printed skin for use in testing of cosmetics. The long term goal of Organovo’s 3D bioprinting technology is to be able to create organs for transplantation.