In America, at least 17 people die every day from organ transplants. But what if, sooner or later, we could develop our personal organs to replace a donor’s willingness to die?
Last week, six years after NASA unveiled its Vascular Tissue Problem, a competition aimed at speeding up analyzes that could sooner or later lead to synthetic organs, the company named two successful groups. The problem required the groups to create thick, vascularized human organ tissue that could survive for 30 days.
Two groups, Winston and WFIRM, each from the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medication, used numerous 3D printing strategies to create laboratory-grown liver tissue that met all of NASA’s requirements and maintained its performance.
“We took two completely different approaches, because if you look at tissue and vascularity, you can see that the body primarily creates two problems,” says Anthony Atala, group leader at WFIRM and director of the institute.
The two approaches differ in the way vascularization – the way blood vessels form inside the body – is achieved. One used tubular constructions and the opposite sponge-like fabric constructions to support the supply of mobile vitamins and to remove waste materials. According to Atala, the problem was an indicator of bioengineering as the liver, the body’s largest internal organ, is without a doubt one of the most advanced tissues to be copied due to its enormous variety of functions.
“When the competitors came here six years ago, we knew we had tried to solve this disadvantage personally,” says Atala.
Along with advancing regenerative drugs and making synthetic organs easier to use for people who want a transplant, the company could sooner or later assist astronauts on future missions in the area.
The idea of tissue engineering has been around for more than 20 years, says Laura Niklason, professor of anesthesia and biomedical engineering at Yale, but the growing curiosity about space-based experimentation is starting to change the industry. “With the world moving into the personal and business realms, organic low-gravity results become increasingly important, and it’s a useful gizmo to know.”
Still, the successful groups have to overcome one of the many biggest hurdles in tissue engineering: “Surviving problems and keeping them functional for a very long time is a real problem,” says Andrea O’Connor, Head of Biomedical Engineering at the Melbourne College Challenge. and others terribly prefer it.
With $ 300,000 in prize money, the successful group – Winston – quickly has the prospect of sending its analysis to Worldwide House Station, the location-based organ analysis has already been carried out.
In 2019, astronaut Christina Koch activated the BioFabrication Facility (BFF), established by Greenville, Indiana-based aerospace analysis agency Techshot, to print natural tissue in microgravity.