Scientists at the Chinese Biotech company Revotek, announced recently that the team has successfully transplanted 3-D-printed blood vessels into the rhesus monkey and have also observed successful regeneration.
Produced by a 3-D bio-printer with the company’s own stem cell bio-ink technology, the blood vessels have been integrated into the monkeys’ abdominal aortas. The structure and biological functions of the printed vessels are the same as those of real blood vessels.
The experiment was conducted on 30 rhesus mokeys, and all of them have survived. This breeds hope that 3-D-Technology can probably be used to achieve endothelialization of blood vessels, which can benefit billions of patients with cardiovascular diseases. This can also be used to replace defective livers, kidneys etc without the wait for donors.
Those this seems like a quick fix to most problems, there is a long wait before this dream can come to realization, with estimates of decades being given to see this being used in reality due to the countless number of further trials and testing that need to be done as well as approval from various authorities on the safety and methodologies of the procedures involved.
This has also shown promise in being used for ex-vivo tests of drugs on the human body. However there are certain set backs in terms of how the 3-D-Printed version doesn’t necessarily behave the same way the human body does.
Regardless, the breakthrough in China is huge news for the 3D bioprinting world, and presents an exciting prospect for the development of similar treatments for human subjects. With many people around the world suffering from various cardiovascular diseases, researchers may now be looking to adopt Dr. Kang’s methods to develop methods of 3D printing human blood vessels that are fit for transplantation. The Chinese researchers also believe that their work will also greatly affect stem cell research of all varieties.