Can 3D printing service Australia industry now take on the challenges of 3D bioprinting? Is the country ready for what is ahead of us here?
Just recently, the scientific and the medical community celebrated a significant achievement, a milestone in the 3D bioprinting sphere when a group of remarkable scientists successfully found a way to create a 3D printed implantable artificial ovary.
This is an important breakthrough in the field of 3D bioprinting because it can help infertile women bear a child, become pregnant and ultimately become a mother.
What made this breakthrough distinct from many other developments in the 3D bioprinting sphere is the fact that the team recognized and mapped structural proteins inside a swine ovary. The discovery and identification of this protein are substantial because they found out they can use it in formulating the ink to be used in bioprinting the female human reproductive organ.
What Can Damage Human Female Ovary?
Several factors can contribute to damaged ovaries, this may include some physiological conditions such as Turner syndrome. Sometimes cancer treatments can be detrimental to the female ovary, too, which is quite common among women who survived cancer.
Cancer treatments that are likely to put a woman’s power to conceive on the line would include radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
The School of Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg spearheaded this research, development of a 3D bio-printed prosthetic human ovary, in the hope of finding an alternative way for women to get pregnant and eventually become a mother, despite having badly damaged ovaries.
On-going Research for Prosthetic Ovary
Right this very moment, the said research is still a work in progress, the main objective of which is to bioprint a transplantable ovary and bring their new-found technology and process to perfection so that it will help in restoring the reproductive power of many infertile women.
In 2017, the group had their biggest milestone when they successfully 3D printed an artificial ovary of a mouse and implanted the same into a sterile specimen mouse. Subsequently, the sterile specimen mouse became pregnant and gave birth to a couple of litters.
The success they had in 2017 was followed by another feat when they finally received their patent for their methodology on creating an artificial ovary. And only recently, they were able to figure out the strategic location of the said structural proteins inside a pig’s ovary. The team said that the pig ovary does have a close resemblance to the structural proteins of human ovaries.
The structural proteins found inside the ovaries of pigs are identical to the type of proteins traceable in humans. This signifies its big potential in providing us an abundant source should we require a more complicated bio-ink material for 3D printing a human ovary for human use.
We reckon that we are a step closer to being able to restore the hormone production and fertility of young women who had to survive childhood cancer but are likely to have early menopause as a subsequent effect. There is still a long way to go for the 3D printing service Australia in terms of 3D bioprinting, but these new sources of bio-ink are making things pretty exciting now.