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PrintAlive Bioprinter 3D Printed Skin Grafts Video
PrintAlive is a 3D printer for human skin developed by University of Toronto engineering students working with Professor Axel Guenther, Boyang Zhang and Dr. Marc Jeschke, the head of Sunnybrook Hospital's Ross Tilley Burn Centre.
(PrintAlive Bioprinter video)
While the traditional treatment for serious burns involves removing healthy skin from another part of the body so it can be grafted onto the affected area, the PrintAlive machine could put an end to such painful harvesting by printing large, continuous layers of tissue – including hair follicles, sweat glands and other human skin complexities – onto a hydrogel. Importantly, the device uses the patient's own cells, thereby eliminating the problem of the tissue being rejected by their immune system.
Because growing a culture of a patient's skin cells ready for grafting can typically take more than two weeks, the machine prints the patient's cells out in patterns of spots or stripes rather than a continuous sheet, to make them go further. The result is a cell-populated wound dressing that reproduces key features of human skin and can be precisely controlled in terms of thickness, structure and composition.
In Frank Herbert's 1977 novel The Dosadi Experiment, BuSab agent Jorx X. McKie routinely packed some uniflesh, with attached mediskin, for purposes of creating a disguise.
In his 1960 novel Dr. Futurity, Philip K. Dick wrote about art-derm, which was spray-on skin that could be directly applied to wounds.
Over her lacerated right shoulder he sprayed art-derm; it sealed off the open wound, halted bleeding, and prohibited infection.
(Read more about art-derm)
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