Earlier this year, Dr. Mikos and I (Tony Melchiorri) were asked to present our take on the future of healthcare from the perspective of the Biomaterials Lab. Here was our answer:
"In the Biomaterials Lab, 3D printing is a tool that has revolutionized the way we think about tissue engineering. We can now create devices we call scaffolds that support live cell and tissue growth with intricate architectural designs. Material advancements also enable the inclusion of chemical factors in these scaffolds that direct the growth and maturation of cells into smaller functional versions of organs. We call these organoids.
Already, 3D printed organoids have propelled our understanding of human physiology. They allow us to model biological phenomena, such as the effects of drugs on organs or how cancer progresses. In the next decade, we will see the use of 3D-printed organoids in laboratory settings to accelerate this type of laboratory research.
Over the next 25 years, this research will evolve so we are not only modeling tissues in the lab, but we are fabricating new, living tissues to replace diseased and failing organs and tissues in patients. The way we treat patients will fundamentally be altered as we biofabricate individual solutions at the point-of-care."
Read more at: http://giving.rice.edu/stories/future-of-health