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Can Bioprinting be the Future of Skin Replacement?

Three-dimensional printers have been one of the top technological breakthroughs in recent years. However, scientists are now taking that technology to the next level and printing human skins cells through a process called bioprinting. Read on to learn what this means for medical and Tracy hourly home care professionals.

How Does It Work?

Bioprinting works much like regular 3D printing, only with living cells. These cells are taken from patients in a hospital and mixed with collagen to create a unique type of ink. It is loaded into the bio-printer, which uses advanced laser technology to lay a drop of cells. Since the cells are alive, they interact with each other and grow into more tissue. The printer is so accurate that scientists can build multi-dimensional skin pieces in a day that would have previously taken months to grow traditionally in a lab. 

What Are the Applications of This Technology?

This technology has many applications. Primarily, it could be used to help burn victims or severely wounded people who need large amounts of skin. Researchers at the Wake Forest School of Medicine are already starting to apply it to determine how they could print skin cells onto wounds of soldiers who have sustained severe burns. There are hopes that this technology could later lead to printing other types of tissue and even organs. 

Many cosmetic companies are also eager to see this technology flourish. Bioprinting would enable them to print skin on which to test products and therefore avoid problems with human and animal testing. Drug companies could benefit from this, as well. 

Implications for Seniors

Bioprinting is helpful for seniors because it opens the possibility of enabling cosmetic and drug companies to make more effective treatments for aging skin. Seniors are also more susceptible to wounds due to having thin and fragile skin. Bioprinting could be used to speed up the healing process and make more successful rapid-growth skin grafts. 

Bioprinting is a cutting edge new technology that has the potential to revolutionize the cosmetic and drug testing process, as well as help those with skin wounds heal faster. This is especially important for seniors who often have conditions related to aging or damaged skin. Fortunately, there are other avenues seniors can take to learn more about skin health. Tracy Home Care Assistance provides comprehensive live-in and hourly home care that promotes senior health and wellbeing with help from highly trained caregivers. We encourage our clients to eat healthy and exercise regularly while helping them with other aspects of aging. Learn more about our services by calling an experienced Care Manager at (209) 650-8500 today.