Human tissues are printed on a 3D printer in space

Redwire announced that its experiment on 3D printing of human tissues in space was completed successfully. The knee meniscus was created on the ISS back in July, and now it has returned to Earth and has been examined by specialists. Next time they will try to print a part of the heart.

3D printer that creates human tissue. Source: Redwire

3D printer in space printed knee

On September 7, the American company Redwire announced the complete success of its experiment on printing human body tissues in space. The knee meniscus was created on a 3D printer aboard the International Space Station back in July. However, it returned to Earth only on September 4, together with the crew of the Crew-6 mission.

Now the samples are in the laboratory; the specialists have confirmed that they fully correspond to the anatomy of the human body. The experiment was organized jointly with the Uniformed Services University. They are very interested in the treatment of complex injuries that are often found among military personnel. One of them is a meniscus tear.

3D printing with tissues is very similar to what happens in those devices that create models from plastic, but it is much more difficult to implement it in the conditions of Earth’s gravity. The products are trying to spread into a puddle and it is possible to print cells only by adding special substances that do not affect their viability in the best way.

Why print tissues on the ISS

That is why Redwire conducted its experiment on the space station. Now tissues can be grown there for the needs of the pharmaceutical industry. It really needs accurate models to understand how drugs function or do not function. 

Redwire is planning another bioprinting experiment. It is scheduled to launch in November on the Dragon cargo mission, which will include printing heart tissue. This will test how it can print more complex tissues, including the ability of cells to function in the same rhythm.

Redwire is experiencing a growing interest in conducting experiments using BFF or other means on the space station from the pharmaceutical community. Scientists are offering more and more new experiments, so there is no doubt that Redwire will leave its research in the future.

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