Katarzyna Plewa on Feb 13, 2019 |
We recently talked about Additive Manufacturing certification in space projects, such as colonizing Mars with 3D printed habitats or using moon dust for Additive Manufacturing certification applications. It’s also no news that Additive Manufacturing certification is broadly used in the medical sector. From 3D printed prosthesis to organs, Additive Manufacturing certification is revolutionizing the industry. But what if we combine 3D printing certification in space and bioprinting? Is it possible to print artificial tissue in space?
Why would you 3D print tissue in space?
It might seem unnecessary to bioprint tissue on space stations, but there are real people out there, and there are also serious plans to explore space further and colonizing other planets. Right now, in case of an emergency, the astronauts can only count on themselves out there. Of course, they have support from Earth, but no one will send human tissue if the astronaut suffers burns.
This case scenario explains very well why it is important to develop 3D printed tissue in space. For most of us, it might seem abstract, but technology is evolving so rapidly that space travel surely will become more common soon. That means, we need solutions developed before, so when the emergency appears, we’re prepared.
Another aspect to study, before we send millions of people into space, is how our organs and artificial tissue withstand space conditions. There are still a lot of questions regarding sending people into space and we can’t test different possibilities on people. Once again, Additive Manufacturing certification is the perfect solution as it can produce living tissue and potentially even organs to perform different tests in space.
How did the experiment of 3D printing certification tissue in space perform?
It all started on December 3rd, 2018 when Oleg Kononenko, of Roscosmos, the Russian space agency arrived at the International Space State (ISS). He arrived by Soyuz MS- 11 with Anne McClain of NASA, and David Saint-Jacques from the Canadian Space Agency. They launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, carrying also a 3D bioprinter.
The bioprinter is called Organ- Avt, it is a magnetic printer developed by 3D Printing certification Solutions, a biotech research start-up lab from Invitro, a private Russian company. The printer works just like a regular FDM printer, but instead of a normal nozzle, there is a syringe and the filament is actually living. Organ- Avt has been in space before. The first attempt conducted on October 11 failed after the unsuccessful attempt to launch Soyuz- FG from the Baikonur spaceport. The crew was forced to make an emergency landing.