14-May-2021 | Market Research Store

Researchers from the University of Alberta have used 3D printing technology to design custom-shaped cartilage for further application in surgical tasks. In case of skin cancer patients with nasal cartilage defects, the aim is to restore the skin features. For this, the researchers believed the specially created hydrogel which comprises of the Jell-O which is mixed is patient harvested cells and then printed into particular shapes using 3D imaging technology. After a few weeks, this material cultured in lab can be used as a functional cartilage. Usually, the cartilage generation takes almost a lifetime but this new method takes about 4 weeks. Even though such cartilage requires still some more degree of maturity they are fully functional as a normal cartilage.

According to the researcher Yaman Boluk, the latest material is strong in terms of mechanical properties. The 3D-printed cartilage can act as perfect solution patients with skin cancer who are facing clinical problems. In North America, there are around millions of people diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer in which 40% develop lesions on their noses, thereby increasing the demand for surgeries to get it removed. This surgery tends to leave the patients disfigured. Generally, the surgeons take cartilage from ribs and reshape it as per the size and shape required in reconstructive surgery. However, the reconstructive surgeries are complicated.

After being reconstructed, the nose cartilage tends to adapt to the new environment and remodel over a period of time. The opening of the rib compartment for a cartilage can cause risks of the organs located below the ribs. The latest study is an example of precision medicine and regenerative medicine. The newly printed lab-grown cartilage can reduce the risks of collapsing of lungs, lung infections, and scarring issues. The lab-grown cartilage can also be used for other purposes in the surgeries.