Yeusvi Flores: Bioprinting, the medicine of the future
One of the most anticipated medical advances by the scientific community for this 2023 is the 3D printing of functional human organs. For some years now, various teams of scientists from different parts of the world, such as Russia, the United States and Costa Rica, have dedicated themselves to putting technology to solve a real problem: the lack of organs available for transplantation.
Bioprinting refers to the use of printers with 3D techniques to fabricate structures composed of biological materials and, specifically, cells.
Technology has advanced so much that ears, bladders and tendons have been made with this technology; however, emulating the human physiology of each organ has been and continues to be one of the greatest challenges and, in the words of Jennifer Lewis, professor at the Wyss Institute for Biology-Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, is the “true holy grail” of this technology.
Being able to replicate the anatomical structure of the organs, although it has not been easy, has been possible; The medical community celebrated the development in 2019 of Professor Tal Dvir’s feat of printing a heart completely compatible with a patient, by using his own cells for the development of the organ, thus managing to reduce the risk of rejection so feared in any transplant surgery . The heart, although it represented an achievement, is still far from having an autonomous heart rhythm, so characteristic of each of our hearts.
According to official figures from the National Transplant Center (Cenatra) as of January 6, 2023, there are 20,117 Mexicans on the waiting list for an organ, of which 15,546 are on the list to receive a kidney. In the strict sense, this means that 7,773 donors are required to be able to cover the current demand only at the renal level, arising from the prevailing need to develop alternatives that allow us to glimpse the tangible possibility of transplanting anyone who requires it as a reality.
Accepted by some and rejected by others, cataloging scientists as players in actions exclusively allowed for deities, what is undeniable is that technology and medicine have formed a powerful link that only glimpses the imminent progress of both arts in favor of health. from their own creators.
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