The use of 3D printing has revolutionised the healthcare sector whether it is the manufacture of customised prosthetics, implants, and anatomical models or tissue and organ fabrication. It has numerous benefits ranging from cost-effectiveness, increased productivity, customisation of medical products and equipment to the democratisation of design and manufacturing. A new approach enabled with 3D printed cell traps has simplified the difficult task of finding the cancer cells among billions of blood cells in the patient sample which exemplifies its usefulness.
Researchers all around the globe are continuously experimenting with this technology to solve various problems of healthcare. Guohao Dai, an associate professor of Bioengineering, and a group of researchers at Northeastern University devised a new way to study Glioblastoma with the help of a three-dimensional structure built from an agglomeration of human brain cells and biomaterials. Glioblastoma is the deadliest form of brain tumour and more than 90 percent of people diagnosed with this die within 5 years. This research will help medical professionals to better understand tumour growth and will speed up the treatment finding process.
This technique was used to evaluate the effectiveness of temozolomide, a drug commonly used in chemotherapy. After two months of observation, it was revealed that the drug was not able to kill this tumour; it only makes the tumour shrink for some time. Thus, it does not work in the long run. This research bolsters the experience of patients diagnosed with this disease. This method also reduces the huge cost associated with research on animals and can be used effectively to weed out unsuccessful drugs at an early stage.
Although 3D printing has brought significant and transformative development in medical science, a considerable amount of challenges exists, which will be countered simultaneously with the advanced applications of this technology. Medical science is evolving every minute, and 3D printing is acting like a hyperactive catalyst in its tremendous growth.