Essay On 3d Printing

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Since Chuck Hull’s inventions of the modern 3D printer in 1984, the artificial manufacturing of three-dimensional objects for medical applications is expanding rapidly and, in the near future, is expected to revolutionize the healthcare industry. This technology built a foundation for engineers to create digital models on a computer and have a physical 3D rendering of the object to a doctor within hours. The main uses for 3D printing in the medical field include the creation of personalized prosthetics, anatomical models specific to each patient, tissue and organ fabrication, and much more. There are also an abundance of research applications such as the delivery and dosage for pharmaceutical drugs as well as the discovery of new ones. …show more content…

The issue with this process is that there is a shortage of available matching donors ready for the procedure. A study on tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, a private organization found that “In 2009, 154,324 patients in the U.S. were waiting for an organ. Only 27,996 of them (18%) received an organ transplant, and 8,863 (25 per day) died while on the waiting list. As of early 2014, approximately 120,000 people in the U.S. were awaiting an organ transplant.” With an extensive waiting list, this treatment is becoming less effective as a large fraction of patients die while in line for this costly process. In addition, this surgery, and the following treatments thereafter, is very expensive, costing more than 300 billion dollars in 2012.

Due to these complications with organ transplants, tissue engineering and regenerative cell studies are being researched as a potential remedy to the shortage of donor organs. The traditional method for tissue engineering revolves around isolating stem cells from a small tissue sample and introduce them to a growth factor. The cells are then multiplied in a lab and planted on scaffolds that direct cell proliferation and differentiation into functioning tissues (National Institute of Health). Advantages of this new technology include the ability to place cells in very precise locations, as well as controlling the diameter, volume, resolution, and concentration of printed cells. In addition, this process is much

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