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3-D Printing in Healthcare

Breathing Life into Bioprinting: The Future is Now

By DeVry University

The technology behind the average inkjet printer is revolutionizing the future of medicine with 3D bioprinters. 3D printing in healthcare brings virtual designs to life by actually “printing” them one layer at a time, making it possible for doctors to bypass human donors and produce everything from artificial human ears and kidneys to bone and nerve tissue.

The New Frontier of Medicine

Technology makes headlines daily but when technology can save lives, it’s not just breaking news, its breaking barriers. Also called additive manufacturing, bioprinting recently received a $45 million boost from the Obama administration to train workers and help manufacturers access the technology with the goal of keeping American manufacturing competitive.1

As more therapeutic applications of 3D printing in healthcare emerge, there will be an increased demand “for cell biologists who can grow and mature cells and harvest them,” predicts Michael Renard, executive vice president of commercial operations for Organovo, the San Diego-based regenerative medicine company credited with producing the first commercial 3D bioprinter.

Engineering talent —hardware, software, and system engineers—with an R&D and manufacturing focus will be a hot commodity to design, maintain, and increase bioprinting efficiency and capacity. 

Advancements in Biomedical Engineering Technology

Bioprinting is one exciting development within the larger field of biomedical engineering technology. And while bioprinting is in its infancy, other devices and software are becoming commonplace in the medical world—and even at doctor’s offices.

Ahmed Naumaan, PhD, National Dean of the College Engineering & Information Sciences at DeVry University, cites technology that allows healthcare professionals to wave a wand-like instrument across patients’ foreheads to instantly take their temperature, software that helps doctors efficiently review

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1 http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/08/16/we-can-t-wait-obama-administration-announces-new-public-private-partners