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3D Printing Embryonic Stem Cells
3/7/2013

This stem-cell printer is the world's first living tissue deposit/building machine.   (Source: Colin Hattersley/Heriot-Watt University)
This stem-cell printer is the world’s first living tissue deposit/building machine.
(Source: Colin Hattersley/Heriot-Watt University)

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Cabe Atwell
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Blogger
Re: material?
Cabe Atwell   3/18/2013 4:53:02 PM
NO RATINGS
Sometimes tech like this never gets out of the development stage. To jump the gun and raise flags, whatever cliché, over the content usually doesn't matter. People exploit others for organs daily. Sometime against their will. I am sure that is happening with stem-cells too. Perhaps there are "evil scientists" out there willing to take the cells, we just don't know. Though, state sponsorship of organ/cell harvesting will never happen here in the USA, so feel safe.

However, somehow this research needs to take place for humanities ultimate benefit... how to go about it will be tricky.

C

bobjengr
User Rank
Platinum
Re: material?
bobjengr   3/14/2013 5:19:22 PM
NO RATINGS
I certainly agree with the comments Elizabeth made.  Cabe is merely reporting on a very fascinating advancement in 3-D printing.  I really don't think it's our place here to moralize.  I personally feel if technology can allieviate any human suffering for the living it's appropriate to investigate.  I have one friend who suffers from chronic back pain due to a car wreck had several years ago.   After four major surgeries, stem cell research is his only real option for lessening of the pain. This could be a great application for existing and improving technology. 

Elizabeth M
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Blogger
Re: material?
Elizabeth M   3/11/2013 6:53:44 AM
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Your point is well taken, gaga1017, but as journalists, it's not our place to judge morally whether something is good or bad. Of course engineers all have to make the decisions for themselves whether they want to take part in some type of research or not based on moral or even religious beliefs. But what Cabe did in this article was to report on something innovative that is happening in the field of 3D printing and medicine. Our readers here at Design News are largely engineers, so this was meant to be informative to them, not make any judgment on the activity itself. That is up to the people involved, I would think.

Cabe Atwell
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Blogger
Re: Not 3D
Cabe Atwell   3/8/2013 4:23:40 PM
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Eafpres,

It's good you were able to access the paper and took the time to summarize. It is all true. They are not printing anything but globs, so to speak. But, it is the first step in the right direction.

With the recent 3D printed bone and organs being successful, all work in this area is necessary.

C

eafpres
User Rank
Gold
Not 3D
eafpres   3/8/2013 10:19:09 AM
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To clarify--I read the abstract, downloaded the paper, and looked through the results.  What they are doing is: (1) starting with viable embryonic stem cells, (2) putting them into a culture medium, (3) "printing" meaning using a printer like setup to form droplets droplets of cells+medium along with just medium to form (4) a droplet or blob which contains as few as 5 cells and is as small as 0.25 mm, (5) printing a grid (array) of these of various sizes and cell concentrations, then (6) inverting the droplet holder so that gravity acts on the cells and causes them to coalesce into spheriod shapes.

That's it.  The "breakthrough" is controlling the size of the resulting droplets and cell amounts which would be useful in research work, and increasing the percent of cells which survive the process.  No 3D.  No organs coming out the end of a printer.

gaga1017
User Rank
Iron
material?
gaga1017   3/8/2013 10:08:33 AM
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Do we simply remove ourselves from the moral issue by casually saying, "though it's a controversial topic"? We have a responsibility as engineers to consider all aspects of our work. Yes, there are areas that though possible, interesting, intellectually challenging, and even "beneficial" for medical advancement, we must consider the cost. Destroying one human life to enhance another is not acceptable, even though it is technically possible and a really "neat" advancement!

BrainiacV
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Wow
BrainiacV   3/8/2013 9:53:54 AM
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As a liver transplantee, I'm very much interested in these stories. When my new liver wears out in about 20 years, I'd love to get a replacement from my own cells and be able to get off the immunosuppressants I have to take twice daily which make me susceptible to skin cancer. It's been two years and I've already had to have two spots treated with liquid nitrogen to freeze them off.

And then after that, I want a brain extension :-)

Charles Murray
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Blogger
Re: Wow
Charles Murray   3/7/2013 5:42:41 PM
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Chris Anderson, the editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine, recently declared that 3D printing would one day be bigger than the Internet. Advances like this one are why.

http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/mt/archives/2012/11/chris_anderson_1.php

 

sensor pro
User Rank
Gold
Re: What Material
sensor pro   3/7/2013 11:19:45 AM
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So true. We often overlook that fact.

If you ge any real answers on the material, please post it.

Thanks

tekochip
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Platinum
Re: What Material
tekochip   3/7/2013 11:14:05 AM
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So very often when we talk about advances in technology what we really have is an advancement in material.  It's not so much that we have a new gadget or procedure, it's that we finally have a new material which allows us to use existing technology (a 3D printer) in new ways.


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