3D-printed neuronal stem cells and scaffold therapy breakthrough helps to treat spinal cord injuries. It can be used for precise treatments for those with long-term spinal cord injuries.
3D printing is a manufacturing process that involves the creation of a 3D object from a digital design.
It has allowed more efficient and cost-effective production of intricate and sophisticated designs and has made great technological advances, including in healthcare.
3D printing has the capability to print live tissues and organs using an array of bio inks.
The method involves a 3D printed silicone guide, which acts as a scaffold for special stem cells that are bioprinted directly on top of it.
The major aim of this breakthrough therapy is to surgically implant the guide into the injured part of the spinal cord.
It should act as a bridge between living nerve cells both above and below the area, which could help alleviate pain for patients, in addition to helping them gain control over functions like bladder, bowel, and muscle control again.
Spreading any signals across the injury could improve functions for the patients. This therapy includes simple improvements in function that could greatly improve the lives.
A 3D bio-printed spinal cord scaffold can be implanted into a human spinal cord and guide the growth of neurons to rebuild damaged neural connections.
If 3D-printed spinal cords are successfully developed and incorporated into a living organism, it will provide hope for those who have suffered long-term spinal injuries.
The process begins with any type of adult stem cell, be it blood or skin, and medical researchers use the latest bioengineering techniques to reprogram these into neuronal stem cells.
These cells are then 3D printed onto a silicone guide with a unique extrusion-based technology, which can print both the cells and the guide from the same 3D printer.
The 3D printed silicone guide keeps the stem cells alive, so they can change into neurons.
The researchers created a prototype implantable guide to help connect the living cells on each side of a damaged spinal cord area, though this task was not without its difficulties.