Now, researchers at the University of Wollongong and ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne in Australia want to use the same concept to study the human brain, with hopes of curing various brain diseases and disorders as well as repairing head injuries.
To do so, they are setting out to 3D print real brain tissue using stem cells. The diseases that they wish to initially help understand, and then ultimately treat, are those such as schizophrenia and epilepsy which are not able to be studied through the use of animal research. If all goes as planned, this research could lead to cures and better treatment of virtually all brain disorders and diseases. It will also help doctors better understand treatment options for severe brain injuries, and perhaps even provide transferable tissue that could eventually be implanted into a human brain.
“The brain in mind-bogglingly complex, it’s undoubtedly the most complex thing known to mankind,” said ACES stem cell expert Associate Professor Jeremy Crook. “We are using additive fabrication technologies such as 3D bio-printing to carefully control our tissue constructs from the nano, through to micro and right up to macro dimensions, deliberately organising cells within the construct to closely mimic functional brain tissue.” … (Read more)