Printing The Future
Erin Walshaw
Tecumseh Elementary
Floor Location : J 033 N

I conducted a study to find out which of the bioprinting methods had the most potential for human application. With a growing Canadian and worldwide medical industry, scientists are coming up with new innovative ways to save lives, from new cancer treatments to 3D bioprinting. Bioprinting is the 3-D printing of living tissues, using a device known as a bioprinter.
The lack of organ donors is a major challenge, and many people die because they do not receive the organ they need. Those lucky enough to receive an organ will be required to take anti-rejection medicine for the rest of their lives. 3D bioprinting has the possibility to save many lives by 3D printing organs, bone, cartilage and other tissues with the recipient’s own cells. This solution removes both problems – organ rejection and the lack of donors. However, 3D bioprinting is a new technology, and it is time-consuming and often very costly. Currently scientists have are unable to print complex organs such as the heart, as current methods and technologies are not advanced enough to do this.
3D printed human tissue will also allow for drug testing without the use of animals and reduce the need for human trials.
I compared the four main bioprinting methods – laser-assisted bioprinting, microtissue-based bioprinting, autonomous self-assembly (Self-assembly) and biomimicry using a point system and a set of criteria that each method would be scored with.