After several years of 3D bioprinting being covered by the media, it’s quite difficult to be too surprised by new accomplishments in this quickly expanding field, but this story may just do it.
Seniors at Loveland High School, located in Loveland, Ohio, have accomplished something many medical students would be proud of. They have successfully created a 3D bioprinter to print out living bacteria cells in a predetermined orientation.
During their Junior year, three students at the school, Nathan Bryant, Cameron Spicer and Thomas Worsham, began working on a 3D bioprinter as part of a 9 month capstone project. Such a printer is able to take commands from a computer, and deposit cells into an orientation which the students choose. The students took a sugar-based gelatin material infused with live bacterial cells, modified a 3D router system, and used it to print the bacteria in layers on top of itself, creating a 3D structure of bacteria.
The students were led by Jamie Allison, the LHS biotechnology teacher, who had tears in his eyes when he realized what his students had accomplished. Allison described this emotional moment,
“Before I realized it, I had tears running down my face. We brought the AP Bio teacher down – she was teary on the spot. I hope I get to see it again, but if I don’t, I know that I was in a school where I had students that were prepared enough by the district, and then I just gave them the push and a few other skills to do something like this. If this is what my career ends like, I’m OK… I’m fine with that.”
Although the students were working with bacteria cells only, scientists around the globe are using similar approaches for the printing of human cells, These include human liver, kidney, and skin cells, to name a few. This project has given these student a very clear understanding of where the medical community is headed with regenerative technologies. Perhaps one day Nathan Bryant, Cameron Spicer and Thomas Worsham will be the first researchers to 3D print a functioning human heart. Enjoy the video below, thanks to Loveland High School. Also, please join 3Dprintboard in discussing this amazing accomplishment.
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