Dov Bechhofer Discusses Recent Advancements in 3D Printing and its Future Technological Potential
3D printing has revolutionized consumer interests, but the growing technology proves to have a bigger role in health and medicine than anticipated. Dov Bechhofer discusses how new and more capable 3D printers will help people live longer, healthier lives in the future.
Computer Engineer Dov Bechhofer has seen firsthand how advancements in technology can benefit everyday people, but he anticipates that new breakthroughs in 3D printing will soon be ready to save lives around the world.
“While the 3D printer is used as a consumer product for making desktop memorabilia, doctors and physicians will soon be able to apply the technology when suggesting treatments to their patients,” says Dov Bechhofer. “No more waiting around for organ donors.”
Today, consumers can choose from a selection of at-home printing devices and software to turn their imaginative creations into physical products. However, 3D printers are also used today to build prototypes for the medical, aerospace, engineering and automotive industries. Industrial 3D printers are much larger than consumer products and can engineer huge parts for a range of applications. However, small 3D printers capable of creating human organs may take the center stage in the near future.
For a while, the idea of manufacturing organs was a distant daydream. But the technology may prove to be a reasonable solution for future patients in need of organ donors. Dov Bechhofer has renewed confidence in the 3D printer because of strides facilities and startups like MBC Biolabs. One of the most recent breakthroughs from the team at MBC is a set of 3D-printed capillaries.
“3D Printing is Changing the Entire Industry ” – Dov Bechhofer
“It’s such an important advancement,” says Dov Bechhofer, “because capillaries are fundamental components of every organ. They are a necessary piece to the puzzle of organ printing.”
Without capillaries, it would be impossible to create a synthetic and transplantable organ that won’t be rejected by the body. The team at MBC is so sure of their discovery, they anticipate their technology will be ready for widespread use. Most likely within the next five years to build patient tissue and organs.
Besides MBC Biolab’s advancements in a capillary building, other think tanks and international laboratories are making their own useful strides. For instance, the scientists at Newcastle University recently printed artificial corneas using the help of human cells. They attribute their success to something they call “bio-ink” made from alginate and collagen. Which will be useful in future research as well as ophthalmological treatment.
We’ve overcome some of the most intimidating hurdles in 3D printing already. We’re only a handful of years away from the tech being a commonplace medical treatment for millions of patients.