3D printing was previously used in the medical industry, where we saw the technology used for 3D printing of cartilage and skull implants. It seems that the Russian researcher Oleg Kononenko managed to successfully print the living tissue in 3D-format, but this is important: Kononenko is not only a researcher, but also an astronaut, and this 3D printing was actually done in space.
Using a 3D printer created by Invitro Medical Company, Kononenko achieved success in 3D printing of human cartilage and thyroid gland. As we have said, 3D printing of human cartilage was done before, but the purpose of this experiment was to see how microgravity in space could affect the development of living tissues and organs, especially if a future human journey into space is planned. and if we plan to eventually move to Mars.
It was assumed that this experiment was launched back in October, but, unfortunately, the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft, on which a bioprinter was installed, suffered due to the failure of the launch vehicle, which forced the crew to interrupt the mission. The astronauts on board managed to escape without incident, but, unfortunately, the bioprinter was damaged.
It is expected that NASA will begin to conduct its own efforts on bioprinting in space, starting in 2019, but at the moment it seems that Russia has managed to claim the title of "first."
Filed under, Learn more about 3D printing, health and space.