The ISS will grow human cartilage using a 3D printer

© Photo : the state Corporation «ROSCOSMOS», ISS. Archive photoThe ISS will grow human cartilage using a 3D printer© Photo : the state Corporation «ROSCOSMOS»Subscribe to daily updates RIA Science

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3D bio-printer to print human tissue will take on the Russian segment of the International space station in the fall of 2018, with its help the astronauts will try to grow small samples of cartilage tissue of human and rodent thyroid, said on Wednesday the Rocket-space Corporation (RKK) «Energy».

«Flight model instrument for the experiment, «Magnetic 3D bio-printer» is ready to be sent to the ISS in the fall. Cuvettes are made of chemical reagents required for the fabrication and subsequent fixation of the grown material, as well as biobrane from which to build the final structure. In the first stage of the experiment, the scientists plan to obtain samples with a size of 2-3 mm. It will be a cartilage tissue of human and rodent thyroid gland», — stated in the message.

We have created three sample printer. The first test used for testing in the RSC and the Institute of biomedical problems (IBMP) Russian Academy of Sciences. The second was sent to the cosmonaut training Center for training of crews who will work with the printer in orbit. The third sample — flight, and will send to the ISS.

Apart from growing living tissues using a new installation it will be possible to study the influence of space factors on living objects on long flights. Moreover, the life of the printer is five years. After conducting one experiment they will be able to use it as the appellants of the experiment, and third-party research teams.

In the «Energy» noted that the name «3D bio-printer» is rather arbitrary, and the principle of operation is based not on the use of additive technologies. In addition, there are no moving parts. The material grows in the bio-printer in a strong magnetic field under the influence of microgravity. Inside the device will install the GoPro camera, which can be observed over the course of the experiment.

«In the future, this technique can be used to create organs from delivered into orbit biomaterials individual patients. This method just two obvious advantages: no need to wait for a suitable transplant organ donor list and automatically solved the question of survival. Another possible application of the bio-printer – growing protein foods, such as cosmic «stuff» that will continue to grow as its use», — added in «Energy,» adding, however, that on the Earth, such installation might require energy consumption, comparable to consumption of a small town.

The bio-printer was created together with the specialists of Roscosmos, Energia and TsNIIMash at the request of the company «3D Bioprinting solutions». «For the first time in Russia the applicant organisation itself pays for the creation and testing of scientific equipment», — noted in «Energy».