Image of a 3D bioprinted blood retina barrier tissue model by Min Jae Song and Kapil Bharti (NIH/NEI/NCATS)
From architecture and fashion to STEM education, 3D printing has begun to revolutionize so many areas of our lives. More and more, scientists are tapping into the technology’s potential to reduce animal testing, expedite drug development, enhance experimentation capabilities, and save valuable time and funding.
This evening, two experts from the National Institutes of Health bring us up to date on developments in this exciting new field of biomedical research. Sam Michael, the director of Automation and Compound Management, and Marc Ferrer, a team leader at the Chemical Genomics Center, both with the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), discuss such cutting-edge research as tissue engineering, bioprinting, and prototyping. They also explore the complex challenges the technology presents, including speed and scale, complex cellular composition, and the difficulty of connecting blood supply to nerve and printed tissue. But success with printing homogenous tissues such as ears, knees, and tissue samples for drug development has encouraged scientists to consider custom prosthetics, an open-access model print exchange. It may not be too long before printing a partial thyroid on top of a desk becomes simply routine.
For Inside Science Participants: Limited space is available for Inside Science participants to tour the 3D printing facility at the National Institutes of Health on Friday, Feb. 16 and Saturday, Feb. 17. There is no fee to tour the NIH 3D printing facility. For more information on joining Inside Science and this tour, visit smithsonianassociates.org/science or email us at InsideScience@si.edu.