Biomedical engineers in Australia have developed a small, flexible robot that can be used to 3D print biomaterials directly inside the human body.
The prototype is similar to a commercial endoscope and is about 11 to 13 millimeters in diameter. However, it is expected to be even smaller in the future.3D bioprinting is a process in which natural tissue-like structures are printed using bio-ink and living cells.With this method, he can repair organ or tissue damage or ruptured blood vessels.Using living cells in the printing process allows these man-made structures to naturally fuse with the human body and continue to grow.Currently, typically invasive surgery is used to place materials inside the body that can lead to high blood loss, infections, and other complications.
Team leader Thanh Nho Do said that this new device, called F 3D B, will print directly inside the body, eliminating these complications and risks.”No technology currently on the market can 3D print directly inside the human body,” Do told Reuters.The F 3D B has a triaxial print head that can be bent and twisted using hydraulics at the end of a soft robotic arm.The printing nozzle can print pre-programmed shapes or can be operated manually if more complex or unclear printing is required.”Soft robots are very good for working with the human body. They can offer high flexibility and adaptability. This means they can fit into any region inside the human body,” said Do, Director of the Medical Robotics Laboratory at the University of New South Wales.Do believes the device is on track for commercialization in the next five to seven years, and more clinical trials are expected.