MEDICAL STUDENTS AT COMENIUS UNIVERSITY CAN NOW MAKE USE OF A UNIQUE INNOVATION – A BIOPRINTER
Bratislava, 16 August 2016: Medical students at Comenius University can now make use of a new innovation – a 3D bioprinter. This machine is located in the Department of Simulation and Virtual Medical Education at the Faculty of Medicine and is capable of printing live cells. With the aid of the bioprinter, students at Comenius University will experience new opportunities in the area of regenerative medicine.
By: CU Public Relations Office
In reaction to this news, MUDr. Andrej Thurzo, PhD., MPH, MHA, who is a pioneer in 3D printing in Slovakia, said, “Bioprinting has exceptional potential in the near future. In the future, it will be a regular thing to just print out a replacement for damaged tissue or a damaged organ using a patient’s own cells. This will mean an avoidance of tissue being rejected following transplants, and, furthermore, patients will not have to undergo immunosuppressive treatment.”
The Inkredible bioprinter will serve both students and teaching staff at the Faculty of Medicine and is the first of its type in Slovakia. It will contribute to pushing the boundaries of knowledge in research into the 3D printing of live cells. Thanks to the bioprinter, it will also be possible for students to undertake interesting research in their diploma theses and in work for students’ academic conferences.
The machine prints straight onto a Petri dish using two print heads. In the cultivation of human cells, biological ink stored in the cartridges is dispensed by being squirted out for printing. The printer creates cell patterns in layers using a multi-layered hydrogel structure. The printed tissue is then allowed to naturally grow.
“In a few years, it will be a matter of course that some doctors’ specializations will see them regularly working on digital 3D models as outputs for use in 3D bioprinting. This is why it is great that medical students at Comenius University already have the opportunity to get acquainted with the world of regenerative medicine, which will perhaps be the reality of their clinical practice after they successfully finish their studies here at the Faculty of Medicine,” Thurzo said.
The bioprinter was bought by the Slovak Society for Regenerative Medicine with support from the Tatra banka Foundation. The value of the bioprinter, including the biological ink, is more than ten thousand euros.