Kidney failure? No problem. Need a new heart? Check, working on it. Let’s just head on over to the 3D printer and print one up and send you on your way. While this sounds like science fiction, and currently still is, the advances in biofabrication and 3D bioprinting may intersect in a jaw-dropping, historical moment some day in our future. To learn more about the stunning advances in medical biofabrication that are being put to work today, listen to Dr. Lorenzo Moroni’s intensive discussion of the present and future of modern medical science.
Lorenzo Moroni, a professor of biofabrication for regenerative medicine at Maastricht University delivers a dense foundation of information on the advances in biofabrication models, and how they may open the door to medical breakthroughs in drug therapy. Specifically, biofabrication is the production of intricate living as well as non-living biological entities from natural biological materials such as living cells and biochemical molecules, etc.
Moroni holds a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy, and in nanoscale sciences at Chalmers Technical University, Sweden, as well as a Ph.D. cum laude from the University of Twente.
Moroni’s lab works to originate medical applications toward the creation of biological models to test treatments for new drugs, and to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms behind the pathology of diseases in three dimensions.
The biomedical engineer details how biofabrication offers a more physiological, three-dimensional environment of a targeted tissue area or organ where the testing of new treatments and drugs is focused. Further, Dr. Moroni explains how testing drugs on cells of a three-dimensional substrate also enables higher quality testing of the efficacy and potency for these new drugs, chemical compounds, and therapies. As our bodies are three-dimensional, the testing of new drugs and therapies in three dimensions is more efficient, and provides better results than the traditional methods utilized in a two-dimensional laboratory cell culture testing environment.
Moroni discusses how biofabrication and 3D scaffolding allows for more targeted study and development of treatments and therapies for conditions or diseases that affect cartilage, heart valves, vascular tissue, and beyond. He touches on how these 3D processes are paving the way for a possible future that could see bioprinting of organs come to fruition, but cautions that we are still a long way away from reaching that monumental moment in history.