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The 3D bioprinting market is predicted to be worth $1.8bn (£1.4bn, €1.7bn) by the year 2027, as we speed toward a future in which replacing damaged body parts will be as easy as printing off new ones – or so say experts. According to a report from IDTechEx, the 3D bioprinting industry is on the verge of a 'rapid expansion' during which the technology will become affordable and more widespread across industries. Trending: Hackers could soon tap into your brainwaves to guess your passwords Most promising is its potential applications within healthcare, where 3D printing is poised to open up a new age of regenerative medicine allowing doctors to print off human cells. 3D bioprinting is the process by which 3D printing technology is used to create artificial tissue. Recent advancements in the field have enabled researchers to 3D print living human skin, blood vessels and even a human ear. While the technology is still in relative infancy, scientists believe that 3D bioprinting could eventually be used for transplants, replacing injured and diseased tissue in patients or even printing new ones from scratch. "The latter application has long been the holy grail of 3D bioprinting technology, and promising animal trials of 3D bioprinted tissues in the past year suggest that a future where humans can replace damaged and failing organs by simply 3D bioprinting a new one may not be limited to science fiction after all," said IDTechEx. Most popular: What is Google Fuchsia? First look at the mysterious new operating system While regenerative medicine isn't expected to become commonplace within the next decade, this goal will serve as the main driver of the 3D bioprinting market over the next 10 years, the research group claimed. At the same time, the growing availability of affordable bioprinters is helping accelerate the technology's adoption amongst major pharmaceutical and consumer goods manufacturers. In the meantime, 3D bioprinting is expected to be adopted more widely into areas like cosmetic and consumer product testing. In pharmaceuticals, the technology could provide an ethical alternative to animal testing, allowing researchers to trial products on artificial tissue rather than living creatures. "After over 15 years of research and development in academia and industry, several main applications of 3D bioprinting technology are ready to be realised," said IDTechEx. "In the short term, the next few years are set to be an exciting time of rapid expansion for the 3D bioprinting industry." You may be interested in:


News Article | May 9, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

One such market trend is the increasing versatility of 3D bioprinters. Users can now easily incorporate several 3D bioprinting technologies into their construct without involving a second or third machine. IDTechEx's new report profiles and benchmarks the four main 3D bioprinting technologies of inkjet, extrusion, laser-induced forward transfer, and microvalve printheads. The report details key specifications, technology subtypes, and includes a SWOT analysis of each printhead technology. Current and future applications of 3D bioprinting covered in 3D Bioprinting 2017 – 2027: Technologies, Markets, Forecasts include the testing of cosmetics and other consumer goods, drug screening for the pharmaceutical industry, personalised medicine, regenerative medicine, cell-based biosensors, food and other animal products, education, academic research and bionics. The recent increase in interest and excitement for 3D bioprinting bodes well for the future. IDTechEx forecasts that the overall 3D bioprinting market is set to reach $1.8 billion by the year 2027. This is driven by demand for both 3D bioprinters, and 3D bioprinted tissues, and additional 10-year forecasts for these product markets are included in the report. Though regenerative medicine is not expected to be a significant market within the next 10 years, it has and will be a major influence on the 3D bioprinting market. As such, a separate chapter of the report is dedicated to discussing the future for 3D bioprinting in regenerative medicine. Readers of this new report by IDTechEx will gain a comprehensive view of the technologies, applications and markets of 3D bioprinting. Insights and knowledge of the industry were obtained through primary interviews with key stakeholders in 3D bioprinting companies, and these interviews also form the basis of the company profiles included at the end of the report. For more see www.IDTechEx.com/3dbio. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/idtechex-research-announces-a-new-report-on-3d-bioprinting-300452475.html


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Optomec, a leading global supplier of production grade additive manufacturing systems for 3D printed electronics (Aerosol Jet) and 3D printed metals (LENS) announced today that the company will showcase a groundbreaking production application developed working with its customer General Electric (GE). The application, which establishes the convergence of additive manufacturing and the Industrial Internet of Things, will be the highlight of the Optomec exhibit at the IDTechEx conference held May 10-11 in Berlin, Germany. Optomec will be in stand # E-11. This production application utilizes Optomec’s Aerosol Jet technology to print passive strain sensors directly onto turbine blades used in an industrial gas turbine. The sensors are composed of a ceramic material that can withstand the very high operating temperatures seen in the hot section of the gas turbine. These sensors can detect deformations in the underlying metal that could ultimately result in an expensive and sometimes catastrophic failure. GE recently unveiled this proprietary 3D Printed Sensor technology at their Future of Work Showcase in Boston. The data from the sensors has a direct tie to GE's Predix software platform, demonstrating the digital convergence between Additive Manufacturing and the Internet of Things. A video showing this Aerosol Jet printing process integrated into a robotic work-cell at GE will be available in the Optomec booth. Also, examples of printed electronic devices will be on display in the Optomec booth along with a live demonstration of an Aerosol Jet 200 system for printed electronics used for a wide array printed electronics applications from R&D to high volume manufacturing. Optomec will also display fully printed and repaired 3D metal components produced by the company’s LENS customers that illustrate a range of 3D metal additive manufacturing capabilities. In addition to the exhibition, Matthew Schrandt, Optomec Aerosol Jet Applications Engineer, will give a presentation titled “3D Printing of Flexible Circuits and Sensors”. Mr. Schrandt will explain how sensors can be printed onto 3D and flexible substrates using a variety of metal and resistive materials. Aerosol Jet is an ideal printing tool for precision deposition of polymeric and metal inks for these sensors. The process is a non-contact, high resolution printing technology that is compatible with a wide range of conductive, insulating, and resistive materials. He will present the functionality of printed strain gauges and thermocouple sensors in terms of robustness with flexing, thermal coefficients, resistance stability, gauge performance, and thermocouple Seebeck coefficient. Optomec is a privately-held, rapidly growing supplier of Additive Manufacturing systems. Optomec’s patented Aerosol Jet Systems for printed electronics and LENS 3D Printers for metal components are used by industry to reduce product cost and improve performance. Together, these unique printing solutions work with the broadest spectrum of functional materials, ranging from electronic inks to structural metals and even biological matter. Optomec has more than 300 marquee customers around the world, targeting production applications in the Electronics, Energy, Life Sciences and Aerospace industries. LENS (Laser Engineered Net Shaping) is a registered trademark of Sandia National Laboratories. Aerosol Jet is a registered trademark of Optomec Inc.


The judges of the award were Mr. Ashutosh Tomar, Principal Engineer, Technology Strategy at Jaguar Land Rover and Professor Ulrich Moosheimer of Munich University of Applied Sciences. "XTPL have demonstrated ultra-fine resolution printing without complex pre or post processes - a significant development for printed electronics manufacturing," says Raghu Das, CEO, IDTechEx. "The Technical Development Manufacturing Prize awarded by the jury whose members represent the major companies from the global printed electronics sector has special importance to us. We have just presented our first product, the printer that allows to print nanomaterials cost-effectively, and it was immediately appreciated. This award which we received during the IDTechEX Show in Berlin, the top international trade fair of printed electronics, confirms that our solution answers the needs of the market. The XTPL technology will find its application in many sectors of economy. We are happy that from now enterprises around the world will be able to look for and develop their own applications for our solution," says Dr Filip Granek, CEO at XTPL. XTPL's technology allows to create ultra-thin and transparent electrically conductive lines which may be used e.g. in manufacturing a new generation of TCF (Transparent Conductive Films) applied in the global markets manufacturing thin-film solar cells, displays, touch screens and flexible electronics. It allows to print lines which are less than 150-nm wide, i.e. over 400 times narrower than the standard lines used for digital printing or screen printing. It can replace the rare and expensive indium in transparent conductive films. The printer developed by the Polish company is dedicated to technologists from R&D departments who will be able to use XTPL's technology in their research and development work, extending its scope of application. As confirmed by the creators of this technology, ultra-thin electrically conductive lines can be used in the production of solar cells and displays as well as in printed electronics, biosensors, nanophotonics, microphotonics, smart windows and anti-counterfeit solutions. XTPL is an interdisciplinary, well-balanced team of technology experts and business specialists with many years of experience, including international experience. The company is based at a cutting edge laboratory with access to highly advanced devices and research infrastructure. It has already received letters of intent from companies from around the world.


The judges of the award were Mr. Ashutosh Tomar, Principal Engineer, Technology Strategy at Jaguar Land Rover and Professor Ulrich Moosheimer of Munich University of Applied Sciences. "XTPL have demonstrated ultra-fine resolution printing without complex pre or post processes - a significant development for printed electronics manufacturing," says Raghu Das, CEO, IDTechEx. "The Technical Development Manufacturing Prize awarded by the jury whose members represent the major companies from the global printed electronics sector has special importance to us. We have just presented our first product, the printer that allows to print nanomaterials cost-effectively, and it was immediately appreciated. This award which we received during the IDTechEX Show in Berlin, the top international trade fair of printed electronics, confirms that our solution answers the needs of the market. The XTPL technology will find its application in many sectors of economy. We are happy that from now enterprises around the world will be able to look for and develop their own applications for our solution," says Dr Filip Granek, CEO at XTPL. XTPL's technology allows to create ultra-thin and transparent electrically conductive lines which may be used e.g. in manufacturing a new generation of TCF (Transparent Conductive Films) applied in the global markets manufacturing thin-film solar cells, displays, touch screens and flexible electronics. It allows to print lines which are less than 150-nm wide, i.e. over 400 times narrower than the standard lines used for digital printing or screen printing. It can replace the rare and expensive indium in transparent conductive films. The printer developed by the Polish company is dedicated to technologists from R&D departments who will be able to use XTPL's technology in their research and development work, extending its scope of application. As confirmed by the creators of this technology, ultra-thin electrically conductive lines can be used in the production of solar cells and displays as well as in printed electronics, biosensors, nanophotonics, microphotonics, smart windows and anti-counterfeit solutions. XTPL is an interdisciplinary, well-balanced team of technology experts and business specialists with many years of experience, including international experience. The company is based at a cutting edge laboratory with access to highly advanced devices and research infrastructure. It has already received letters of intent from companies from around the world.


News Article | May 23, 2017
Site: www.rdmag.com

Mechanical parts that can collect and transmit data on their status for predictive maintenance. These are just a few examples of the applications at or near full-scale commercialization that in some way benefit from printable, flexible and wearable electronics (PE). Inks that can conduct electricity – made from materials such as graphite, silver, and copper – are printed on a substrate at high enough density to form a complete electronic circuit, but thin enough to have negligible impact on the substrate thickness. The substrate can be rigid, flexible or even stretchable, such as paper, plastic, fabric or glass. These inks can be applied through traditional printing processes through fast and inexpensive automated processes, such as those used in the commercial printing industry for newspapers and magazines. Components can also be embedded though additive manufacturing processes, such as 3D printing or in-mold electronics. A related field involves conductive yarns which can be woven into fabric to create smart garments. PE can be used to create discreet components such as displays, conductors, transistors, sensors, light emitting diodes, photovoltaic energy capture cells, memory, logic processing, system clocks, antennas, batteries, and low-voltage electronic interconnects. These can be integrated into simple systems that, for example, can record, store, and then transmit temperature information. Fully functional electronic systems can be created in this way, or discreet components and sub-systems can be produced to function as part of a hybrid solution with conventional silicon-based integrated circuits or components. Compared to traditional silicon, PE components are lighter, thinner, cheaper to manufacture and capable of being flexible or even stretchable. As an additive technology, they can be produced without the capital-intensive manufacturing processes typical of silicon that are often wasteful and environmentally harmful. With PE, electronics can be embedded into printed 3D devices and components. We can enable a new generation of wearable healthcare technologies, smart fabrics, flexible electronics, connected homes that conserve energy, and even smart packaging that can reduce food and packaging waste. Here are a few examples: OPV cells use conductive organic polymers or small organic molecules for light absorption and charge transport to produce electricity from sunlight by the same photovoltaic effect used by conventional solar cells. This technology is another example of the switch from silicon to carbon-based electronics, with the resulting benefits of low cost, high production volume and significant environmental benefits. These flexible solar cells based on thin films can potentially be incorporated into a variety of materials— from window blinds to glass and roofing materials. A building’s entire exterior could be turned into a power generator, in a far more flexible and cost-effective way than is possible with conventional inorganic solar cells. In addition to energy harvesting applications for residential and commercial buildings, OPV also has applications in automotive, point-of-sale and advertising, apparel and consumer electronics. New high sensitivity OPVs, such as those from CPEIA Member company Wibicom, can even harvest ambient light for low-power applications such as self-powered sensors and self-powered antennas. But some technical hurdles remain to be overcome for mass adoption of OPV to be achievable within another decade. Work is ongoing around the globe to increase the efficiency, stability and strength of organic cells. The industry’s goal is to develop OPV cells suitable for mass production that can deliver a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of least 10 percent for 10 years. PE is ideal for additive manufacturing processes like 3D printing and in-mold electronics, to embed functionality inside a part or assembly. This reduces the bulk and expense of external hard wiring to connect electronic systems and assemblies. By the same token, intelligence can be added to a part with low-cost printed electronic tags, labels and serialized sensor matrices. These are digital fingerprints that can be used to identify and authenticate a part. With PE tags and sensors, parts and assemblies can collect and transmit data on their use and usage conditions, heat, stress and so forth. All this data can be collected and stored in the cloud, for remote monitoring and predictive analytics to carry out preventative maintenance and repair. This intelligence can be economically added to anything from a wind turbine blade, to a building systems such as elevators and HVAC, or any of the subsystems or structural members found on automobiles, aircraft and so forth. Anyone who uses a blood glucose monitor is already using a printed sensor – it’s on the disposable test strip. This kind of sensing technology has been on the market for some time. The next step is to develop the conductive ink and paste, substrate and enclosure materials needed for more rugged and long-term applications. Efforts are already well underway. Market research firm IDTechEx predicts the overall market for printed sensors will reach US$7.6 billion by 2027. Wearable technology has gone mainstream in a few short years. Many of us are taking advantage of devices worn on our person to enhance our athletic performance, monitor health and fitness indicators such as heart rate and breathing, and ensure the wellbeing and safety of the elderly. Wearable devices already on the market include bracelets, watches and necklaces, as well as athletic wear such as sports bras and shirts. We even have smart temperature stickers that monitor a child’s vital signs during sleep. The discrete form factors, flexibility and cost advantages of PE versus conventional electronics are crucial to make most of these devices and applications affordable and practical. Another rapidly growing application area is smart garments and textiles. Take, for example, OMSignal. This Canadian company develops functional smart apparel to help people live active, fit and healthy lives. It is, for example, the smart textile and software technology behind Ralph Lauren’s PoloTech collection. Last year, OMSignal launched the OMBra. From a biomechanical standpoint, this smart garment is designed to absorb the strain and pressure of running. But it is also a piece of fitness technology, equipped with three heart rate sensors, a breathing wire (the first on the market) and an accurate motion/accelerometer sensor. Patent-pending algorithms in the OMbra app combine heart rate and breathing to provide personalized feedback. The more a woman runs, the more the app adapts to her body so she can meet her weight goals and safely improve her training. Where is the PE market going? Global revenues for products using PE in 2016 is estimated at US$26.9 billion, an annual increase of 31.8 per cent since 2010. Consulting firm Smithers Apex expects the market to grow to an estimated US$43 billion by 2020. A separate forecast from IDTechEx predicts a US$70-billion market by 2024, for applications ranging from organic LEDs (OLEDs) to conductive inks for a variety of applications. Hundreds of millions of dollars in joint funding initiatives between U.S. industry, academia and government have been announced in the past few years to create the Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Institute, The Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Institute, and the Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute. As the united voice of Canada’s PE sector, the Canadian Printable Electronics Industry Association (CPEIA) is working to secure similar multi-stakeholder support for comparable industry-driven development and commercialization initiatives here in Canada. From May 24-26 at Centennial College in Toronto, Canada, the CPEIA will host CPES2017. This is Canada’s premier conference and trade show exhibition dedicated to printable, flexible and wearable electronics. Visit www.cpes2017.ca to learn more.


Energy Independent Electric Vehicles Land, Water, Air 2017-2037 forecasts multi-billion dollar businesses being created that make the unprecedentedly efficient powertrains, multi-mode energy harvesting, lightweighting and streamlining required. IDTechEx shares how that includes new technology of regeneration including elimination of hot shock absorbers and disk brakes, electricity being produced instead. Learn how smart materials are planned - structural electronics replacing the components-in-a-box approach. The reinvented car, boat and plane awaits; easier to use, safer, greener, with lower cost of ownership and longer life. Previously impossible missions are identified and the boost to mobile robotics is revealed. This report gives you the opportunity to participate and invest before the rest. Here is the knowledge that gives you the power. The report uses easily understood infograms, graphs and tables to present the discoveries and interpretation by globetrotting multi-lingual, PhD level analysts at IDTechEx. 47 categories of electric vehicle are forecast by number and value from 2017-2027. For more information see http://www.IDTechEx.com/eiv. IDTechEx will be hosting the world's first conference on Energy Independent Electric Vehicles: Land, Water & Air in Delft, Netherlands. The event will embrace the commercial opportunity and technology roadmap. Partnering the event is TU Delft which has supported more record-breaking solar racers than anywhere on Earth and is also a leader in enabling technologies such as AWE, power electronics, 3D printing and wave power using dielectric elastomer generators. To find out more about this unique event visit http://www.IDTechEx.com/delft17.


News Article | May 23, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

The disagreement in terminology reveals several interesting points, one of the most important ones being that despite the fact that different companies will take a different approach to categorizing devices, is in essence a difference in how much of the real world is coming through a specific headset. In its newly launched report on the topic, IDTechEx categorizes headsets according to whether devices are tethered to an external computer or not (PC or standalone AR &VR) or whether they make use of the display and/or electronics of a mobile device such as a smartphone. IDTechEx forecasts the value of the market for AR & VR headsets is expected to grow to almost $37 Billion by 2027. The sustained growth of the market will be propelled forward in the short term by the growth of PC VR. As expected, the high volume of mobile VR will not contribute significantly to total revenues due to the low unit value. From 2021 onwards, growth will be transferred to stand alone AR, propelled forward by the launch of high performing headsets and reduced power consumption. Both energy storage and displays for AR & VR applications are discussed extensively in the report, given how critical these components are for future generations of headsets. In addition, the report includes insight on the research and development efforts on other components that will become part of the next wave of devices and the improvements and benefits that they will bring. They include haptics, optical engines, but also the development of focus tunable displays, foveated rendering and other concepts that aim to improve the user experience. For more information see http://www.IDTechEx.com/glasses.


This report is replete with new forecasts, analysis and infographics, seeing the roadmap and financial projections to a future where land, water and airborne vehicles will be electric. Recent presentations by the key players are assessed in this work, which was researched in 2016/2017 by PhD level IDTechEx analysts travelling worldwide. Interviews, IDTechEx databases, web searches and conference attendance were extensively used. Detailed technology roadmaps, supplier comparisons and interviews provide a uniquely comprehensive picture. The report fully explains why power electronics is becoming more important in the performance and cost of an electric vehicle, hybrid or pure electric. Reasons given include expected tough 2025 and 2030 regulations making most conventional powertrains illegal and the ongoing quest for performance improvement including better life and reliability. Power Electronics for Electric Vehicles 2017-2027 includes a close look at all the key issues. Ten year forecasts for power electronics are broken down into motor controllers, recuperation, electricity import, electricity export, BMS with boost converters, climate control and then other, with a full explanation of the many things in these categories. The total power electronics market in billions of dollars and as percentage of the electric vehicle market is projected, backed up by ten year forecasts by number of 46 categories of electric vehicle land, water and air. Power electronics for 48V mild hybrid and beyond are included in the report, carefully explaining the rapidly increasing complexity of power circuits and peripherals for these and successor powertrains. Many examples of power electronics are explained in the context of powertrain options, future successes and expected failures. Network integration, powertrain options, voltage trends and structural electronics potential are detailed. As outlined in the report, new materials and components for power electronics are key to the future, including SiC and GaN power semiconductors and new harvesting chemistries. For more see http://www.IDTechEx.com/power . IDTechEx provides companies across the value chain with tools that can assist them in making essential strategic decisions in emerging technologies. IDTechEx offers research reports, subscriptions, consultancy, introductory services and events.


News Article | June 7, 2017
Site: www.rdmag.com

Imagine having the ability to engineer organs and tissue on demand, reducing the years long wait time many patients must go through to receive a transplant. Or, a world where machines could instantly create a variety of medical materials to be used to streamline safety and efficacy testing, saving companies billions of dollars in research and development costs and reducing the need for experiments on animals and humans. It might sound like something from a science fiction movie, but it’s a future we may be moving towards due to innovations in the field of 3D bioprinting, according to a new report from market research firm IDTechEx. 3D bioprinting executes a similar process to traditional 3D printing—where 3D physical objects are created from a digital model on a layer-by-layer basis—except that live cell suspensions are utilized. This requires highly sterile printing conditions to maintain cell viability and higher printing resolution to place cells precisely to ensure the correct design and cell-to-cell distance. Multiple cell types have to be printed simultaneously to replicate complex tissues. This scientific technique has been under investigation in academia for the past 15 years, with researchers exploring devices that could create a layer-by-layer deposition to form a final three-dimensional construct. Commercialization of this technology first occurred almost 10 years ago, signaling the rise of a number of high profile partnerships. Many of these partnerships have occurred with Organovo, a startup using a proprietary three-dimensional technology.  Organovo is working with a number of biopharmaceutical firms, including Roche, on ventures like assessing drug-induced toxicity on simulated liver tissue, and with L’Oreal to test potential product side -effects on artificial skin. The basic production process of 3D printing breaks down into four steps: preparation, printing, maturation, and application. Users need to perform 3D imaging to construct the sample design, import the model into the bioprinter, enable cell adhesion to scaffold, and then wrap it up through testing and implementation. Some of the breakthroughs within this field include the first biological material printed in 1987, the first extrusion printing of cells in 2002, and the first laser-based printing of cells in 2004. A number of several successful animal experiments followed this in 2016, when researchers replicated liver tissue in mice and blood vessels in rhesus monkeys. The author of the IDTechEx report writes that this technology offers a variety of opportunities for people working in consumer products and drug discovery and development, but there are still a few hurdles that need to be overcome before the field can really mature into a multi-billion dollar business. Here are a few highlights and challenges in the field outlined in the IDTechEx report. The four primary materials associated with standard bioprinting production are inkjet, extrusion, laser-induced forward transfer (LIFT), and microvalve. Inkjet offers high-dispensing speeds and high-printing resolution and could yield applications like high throughput screenings that require high droplet dispensing speeds. It’s weakness involves a long-build time, nozzle clogging, and limited printed viscosities that may cause harm to cells. Extrusion enables low cost, short-build time, and has an easy set up process. These features may help with printing large, medically relevant constructs in a short period of time, although there is increasing competition in the extrusion space, according to the IDTechEx report. LIFT has similar strengths as its inkjet counterpart with high dispensing speeds and high printing resolutions with the ability to produce high viscosity material. However, it has the most expensive and time-consuming set-up process. Microvalve is the newest addition to this field with no significant weaknesses. It’s cheap and compatible with printing high viscosity material, but there is no commercial presence at this time. Extrusion and inkjet are the more developed technologies, but LIFT may be viewed as the best in class, while microvalve bioprinters could grow in popularity. The R&D and medical spaces are where 3D bioprinting and 3D bioprinted tissues are the most dominant. Manufacturing constructs resembling human tissues in form and function has enabled a better understand of biological processes. One area where this technology has made an impact is by eliminating animal testing in cosmetics and consumer goods. However, the medical field is where synthetic tissue could have a strong impact, especially in the field of personalized and regenerative medicine. Scientists could use this novel material to assess a patient’s specific response to a certain drug, which could also provide flexibility in determining the optimal dosage. Plus, this might eliminate the need for a biopsy. The IDTechEx report notes regenerative medicine is an area where 3D bioprinting could really take off, with skin and cartilage-based structures having the most potential. Both of these biological components cannot easily perform self-repair due to the lack of blood supply, so synthetic options are the best options available for many patients. These vary from metallic implants for load-bearing bones and joints. However, these inventions can be hindered by a wearing down of implant surfaces as well as degradation of mechanical performance over time. Surgeons could use this next-gen material to lower the amount of time needed for patients to spend on the operating table, while giving the surgeon greater control over restoring the tissue. Researchers could also potentially develop living replacement teeth that are in the exact shape as the ones that came before it, harness relevant cell types to model the complex 3D structure of skin to boost healing and patient outcomes, and even get precise and design small structures in the body’s vascular system, like a heart valve. Researchers and entrepreneurs still have a few obstacles in their way before this field can really flourish. On the technical side, there is an emphasis needed for computer driven tools to offer a certain level of precision that allows for accuracy and reproducible placement of individual cells. Also, printing high viscosity solutions has implications on cell density and mechanical structure so engineers will need to find structural support that is currently not available for 3D bioprinting technologies. Plus, there needs to be a solution for printing and maturing medically relevant structures in a reasonable time frame. The primary issue on the biological side is that building an entire organ is still about a decade away even though smaller tissue constructs could be viable in restoring adequate organ function. Other obstacles that could be encountered include finding a cheap, cost-efficient method for ensuring the manufactured cells proliferate and mature into 3D cultured tissue. Ultimately, refining these techniques and having regulatory agencies like the Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency establish a regulatory framework to get these products approved could help the market value of 3D bioprinted tissue be worth about $1.4 billion by 2027. Over the next month, R&D Magazine will highlight other advancements in the bio-electronic sector, giving a glimpse into future developments and devices changing human health.

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