Presentation Summary

Jared Lezan
Prof. Dawson
Digital 2
27 November 2018
Presentation Summary
My presentation was on 3D Printing in the Medical Field. 3D printing, or additive
manufacturing, was first developed in the 1980s by Charles Hull. 3D printing is a manufacturing
method in which objects are made by fusing or depositing materials—such as plastic, metal,
ceramics, powders, liquids, or even living cells—in layers to produce a 3D object. While 3D
printing has been used commercially for much longer, it has grown in the medical field since the
early 2000’s. Initially, it was used to create dental implants and prosthetics, but now we use
printing to create a variety of structures, such as organs, stem cells, blood vessels, tissues,
bones, and much more. The most common method to print organs is through a method called
inkjet-based bioprinting. The cells are taken from a person and cultured so that they multiply.
They are then placed into the printer and layered using a material called hydrogel to be printed
into tissue. While this process is still being developed, 3D bioprinting offers highly precise cell
placement and high digital control of the speed at which they are placed. Organ printing takes
advantage of 3D printing technology to produce biomaterials by printing them layer by layer,
directly creating 3D tissue-like structures. While printing out organs to transplant is important,
scientists also use these organs for research. A large portion of this research is used for drug
testing. Another use of these organs is for practice. A team of researchers led by the University
of Minnesota has 3D printed lifelike artificial organ models that mimic the exact anatomical
structure, mechanical properties, and look and feel of real organs. While organs are a huge
breakthrough in 3D printing, another development is through printing skin. Researchers in
North Carolina are developing a system that will allow them to print skin directly onto burn
wounds. Another recent development is printing bone scaffolding. Students at Washington
State University modified a 3D printer to bind chemicals to a ceramic powder, which created a
material that promotes the growth of a bone in any shape. Another interesting development is
printing out prescription pills. In 2015, the FDA approved a 3D printed drug called Spritam,
which treats certain types of epilepsy. The pill is printed layer by layer, which makes it dissolve
faster than average pills when taken with liquid. Overall, scientists are developing 3D printing
ideas and materials very quickly and it wouldn’t surprise me if most of these topics become
mainstream in the medical field in the next decade.
1. How much money was spent on organ transplants in 2012?
a. $2
b. $1 trillion
c. $300 billion
d. $179 million
i. Answer - $300 billion
2. What is not a current application of 3D Printing?
a. Skin
b. Organs
c. Bone Scaffolding
d. Guns
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