Researchers from the ARC Center for Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) of St. Vincent’s Hospital and University of Wollongong in Melbourne, Australia are using 3D printers to study the human brain. The researchers are using a 3d printer to print living brain tissues using stem cells.
Professor Jeremy Crook from ACES is working with living brain cells printed in a bioprinter to study conditions like epilepsy and schizophrenia. With the 3D bioprinting technology, they also aim to provide a transferable tissue that can be directly implanted to the human brain.
Initially, 3D bioprinted tissues of the brain will be utilized to study different neurological diseases but Professor Crook noted that the living tissues generated through bioprinting can be used to restore the function of the human brain that are afflicted by certain neurological disorders. Professor Crooks noted that the biomaterials created from bioprinters can be used to support cell as well as tissue engineering to have a better model of disease biology. The results of this research can also be used in areas including disease processes and progression, drug development and cell replacement therapy.
Moreover, the researchers are also looking at the potential of 3d bioprinting in developing biosynthetic implants that can be fabricated using the stem cells of the patient. This technology has a lot of potential but the researchers noted that this technology is still in its initial phase, it might still be decades before the benefits will be realized but Professor Crooks and the other proponents of this study remain hopeful.