First Ever Bio-Printer Can Print Skin Onto Wounds

Alex Herman, Sports Recorder

We all have heard of those 3D printers that print out three dimensional solid objects, but now we have new manufacturing that has crept into a new design with the first-ever mobile bio-printer. It doesn’t print pieces of plastic into different designs and shapes, but it rather prints skin onto wounds to heal them. How you ask?? Well…it takes a person’s own skin cells and it creates new skin and applies the skin directly to the wound (Crazy, right?).

This new machine will help out anyone who struggles with large or nonhealing wounds. It could also protect patients from infections. It has not been tested on humans quite yet, but is currently going through animal testing before moving onto human trials. The challenging part about the machine is if there aren’t enough skin cells available to print because it takes time to grow cells, then researchers will work on a structure that uses as few cells as possible. The device could eventually use “universal donors.” Scientists from Wake Forest School of Medicine stated, “A mobile bioprinter that can provide on-site management of extensive wounds could help to accelerate the delivery of care and decrease costs for patients.”

The hand made printer isn’t like regular printers that are somewhere near 8 x 11 inches, but instead, it was designed to fit in the palm of your hand. Researches described it as a “white-out tape dispenser, rolling out ‘bio-ink’ skin tissue directly on the affected areas. It weighs less than two pounds.” They have also stated that it takes “two minutes or less” to print on.

The video below gives a clear demonstration of how the new printer operates and how it prints!