3D打印的器官可以帮助我们更快地恢复,更加长寿
3D-printed organs could help us heal faster and live longer
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2020-01-06 22:55
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火星译客

August 21, 2017

2017.08.21

Three-dimensional printing is a hot technology right now, but scientists have struggled to use it to solve a pressing problem: helping people heal. Healing wounds is a tall order for even the best bioprinters - creating materials that can meet the body’s needs for repair and regeneration and also get printed is no small feat. But experiments keep coming closer to making it work, putting the exciting possibility of a 3D-printed transplant future squarely in scientists’ sights.

三维打印目前是一项热门技术,但科学家们一直在努力用它来解决一个紧迫的问题:帮助人们愈合伤口。即使对于最好的生物打印器来说,处理伤口也是一项艰巨的任务——创造出既能满足身体修复和再生需要又能打印出来的材料也绝非易事。但是,随着实验的不断深入,3d打印的移植物已经成为了科学家们的目标。

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The printer used to create the implants.

用来打印移植物的打印机。

Wake Forest University

维克森林大学

Cells require specialized conditions to grow and develop, but to pass through a 3D printer, these materials also need to be smooth enough to keep these specialized ‘bioprinters’ from jamming. The printers also need to make material that is strong enough to support complex structures like tissues. Scientists have made stronger materials that approximate bone using plastic, but scientists had trouble getting enough cells to attach to the bone-like material to grow and form tissues. To get enough cells to form a tissue meant that scientists needed to spread a thick slather of them onto bioprinted materials: a new approach was needed so they could be spread thickly enough to flourish.

细胞需要特殊的条件才能生长和发育,但是要通过3D打印机,这些材料还必须足够光滑,以防止这些专门的“生物打印机”卡住。 打印机还需要制造足够坚固的材料来支撑诸如薄纸之类的复杂结构。 科学家们已经使用塑料制造出了更高强度的材料来逼近骨骼,但是科学家们很难让足够的细胞附着在骨骼状材料上以生长并形成组织。 为了获得足够的细胞来形成组织,这意味着科学家需要将厚厚的涂料散布到生物打印材料上:需要一种新的方法,以便它们可以附着在其上以及更好的发育。

To tackle these challenges, a team of biomedical engineers at Wake Forest led by Hyun-Wook Kang (now at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in Korea) developed a specialized bioprinter for a study published last year that was designed to push past traditional barriers to make tissues and organs that worked and could be integrated into a living being.

为了应对这些挑战,由Hyun-Wook Kang(现为韩国蔚山国立科学技术研究院)领导的维克森林大学生物医学工程师团队为去年发布的一项研究开发了一种专门的生物打印机,旨在突破传统障碍,使移植物能融入生物体,和器官,组织更好的发育。

The researchers faced the challenge of creating a matrix that simultaneously contained bone, blood vessel scaffolding and cells. They also needed to make sure that enough cells were evenly printed over the tissue.

研究人员面临的挑战是创造一种同时包含骨骼、血管支架和细胞的基质。他们还需要确保足够的细胞被均匀地附着在组织上。

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An example of a 3D-printed ear sitting in medium

博物馆理3D打印的耳朵样品

Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine

维克森林再生医学研究所

Bioprinters are like souped up 3D printers. Rather than mimicking the physiological conditions of cells and tissues, they instead “print” layers of material – one on top of each other – which create shapes that form building blocks for bone and muscle growth.

生物打印就像加速的3D打印机。它们不是模仿细胞和组织的生理状态,而是“打印”材料层——一层叠一层——形成形状,形成骨骼和肌肉生长的积木。

The scientists created a custom cocktail of plastic and calcium as a base for the ink, and then they added a bit of soap to keep things from jamming up – an everyday remedy for a complex problem. They could simply rinse out the soap once the material had dried solid. The bioprinter used two different types of printing to make different types of material: a more dense, bone-like material, and a weaker muscle-like material to support cell growth. The weaker lattice was supported by a thick mold to strengthen the structure during printing.

科学家们用塑料和碳酸钙钙制作了一种特制的混合物作为墨水的基底,然后他们加了一点肥皂来防止堵塞——这是解决复杂问题的普通方法。一旦肥皂干了,他们可以简单地把它冲洗掉。生物打印机使用了两种不同类型的打印来制造不同类型的材料:一种更致密的骨状材料和一种更弱的肌肉状材料来支持细胞生长。较弱的格子是由一个厚的模具支持,以加强结构在印刷期间。

To see if their new technology could potentially help regrow tissue, the team decided to create an implantable jaw and test if it could fix a genetic bone defect. Using one pattern of bioprinted material for the jawbone and another pattern for the surrounding muscle, the scientists printed human amniotic fluid-derived stem cells in a high-sugar jelly and polymer mixture into each jaw and allowed them to grow. The printed jaws were alive, but could they regrow actual bone?

为了验证他们的新技术是否有可能帮助组织再生,研究小组决定制造一个可植入的下颌,并测试它是否能修复遗传性骨缺损。科学家们用一种生物打印材料制作了颌骨,用另一种材料制作了周围的肌肉。他们把人羊水提取的干细胞打印在高糖凝胶和聚合物混合物中,放入每个颌骨,让它们生长。打印出来的颌骨是活的,但它们能再生出真正的骨头吗?

The team put the printed jaws to the ultimate test: implantation into living rats suffering from natural jaw deformations. Would the rats reject the printed jaw, or would their bodies allow the implants to integrate into bone structure?

研究小组对打印出来的颌骨进行了最终测试:将它们植入患有天然颌骨畸形的活老鼠体内。老鼠会发现排斥反应吗?还是它们的身体会接纳下?

Five months later, the team inspected the bioprinted implants. Not only had they joined the jaw tissue, but they had grown bone to replace the defect, becoming strong and full of blood vessels, much like a healthy jaw. Jaws without the bioprinted implants formed scar tissue instead. Clearly, the bioprinted implants had worked.

五个月后,研究小组检查了生物打印的植入物。他们不仅连接了颌骨组织,还长出了骨头来代替缺陷,变得强壮,充满了血管,就像健康的下颌一样。没有生物打印植入物的颌骨反而形成了疤痕组织。很明显,生物打印的移植物起作用了。

These findings are exciting and pave the way for a future where we could conceivably print entire organs and tissues. Sometime within the next 10 years, we may rely on bioengineers to replace failing organs rather than relying on transplants, and enter a future where bionic organs can help people lead longer, healthier lives. More complex organs may need special cells and more time to grow; as usual, more experiments are needed.

这些发现令人兴奋,并为未来我们可以打印整个器官和组织铺平了道路。在未来10年的某个时候,我们可能会依靠生物工程师来替换衰竭的器官,而不是依靠移植,进入一个仿生器官可以帮助人们活得更长、更健康的未来。更复杂的器官可能需要特殊的细胞和更多的时间来发育;像往常一样,这还需要更多的实验。

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