Researchers at the University of New South Wales in Sydney have developed a flexible 3D bio printer that can place organic materials directly onto organs or tissues and repair them from the inside.
According to Gershat Engjet, this 3D printer, unlike other bio printing methods, operates with the least possible invasion and is supposed to help prevent major surgeries or removal of body organs. However, it should be noted that this technology is still five to seven years away from human testing.
The printer, called F3DB, has a soft robotic arm that can attach bio materials to living cells on damaged organs or internal tissues. The flexible and snake-like body of this printer is designed in such a way that it enters the body through the mouth or anus, and the operator or surgeon guides it to the damaged area with hand movements.
In addition, the said printer has jets that can spray water on the desired area. The team hopes that the multi-purpose approach of this printer could one day be an all-in-one tool (cutting, cleaning and printing) for minimally invasive surgeries.
The F3DB robotic arm uses three actuators under a soft fabric using a hydraulic system consisting of “DC motor syringes that pump water to the actuators.” Its flexible arm and print head can each move freely, similar to desktop 3D printers. The mentioned printer also has a flexible miniature camera that allows the operator to observe the work process instantly.