Scientists are about to find a way to put humans into hibernation; Maybe this is the only way for humans to reach Mars.
One day in 1992, neuropharmacologist Kelly Drew was working in a laboratory at the University of Alaska Fairbanks near the North Pole when his colleague Brian Barnes, a professor of animal physiology, changed the course of his life and possibly humanity forever. Gave Barnes told Drew to reach out and brace himself for an exciting surprise. A few moments later, a sleeping arctic squirrel was in Drew’s hands. This squirrel was tightly curled up like a bullet, and its body was so cold that Drew thought it was dead, But Barnes happily told him that the frozen squirrel was in perfect health.
The polar ground squirrel, which had settled in the palms of Drew’s hands, had fallen into hibernation. This small animal, which holds the record for the longest hibernation, spends eight months of the year in hibernation, and during all this time, the internal temperature of its body reaches below minus 3 degrees Celsius; His brain waves become so weak that they are barely noticeable, and his heart beats only once per minute. However, it is completely alive and healthy, and with the arrival of spring, it can raise its body temperature to 37 degrees in a few hours and resume its normal life.
On that fateful day, a big question stuck in Drew’s mind; What is going on in the brain of the polar squirrel that allows it to survive in these harsh conditions? And this question started thirty years of research to bring humans a few steps closer to achieving hibernation and reaching Mars.
The big problems of traveling to Mars
Currently, three major organizations, including NASA, China National Space Agency, and SpaceX, are in a breathtaking competition to send the first human to Mars by 2040; But to win this competition, they need to solve a series of challenging problems first.
The most important problem facing the engineers who are trying to open our feet of us humans to the red soil of Mars is that we need a lot of care and maintenance. We, warm-blooded animals with high-functioning brains, burn large amounts of food, water, and oxygen during the day to survive. This high consumption makes it extremely difficult to design a light spacecraft suitable for a round trip to a planet 226 million kilometers from Earth. . By examining the eating habits of the astronauts of the International Space Station, it can be estimated that a four-member crew needs at least 11 tons of food to complete the 1100-day round trip mission to Mars. The weight of this food alone is about ten times more than that of the Perseverance rover, the largest cargo ever to reach Mars. Now, to these 11 tons of food, add all the other essentials, including the equipment needed to settle on Mars, so that the weight of a spacecraft when it leaves the Earth’s atmosphere for Mars is easily more than 330 tons, that is, more than the weight of two blue whales. Mature, go beyond. As you read this, it’s impossible to imagine where such a gigantic spacecraft will get the fuel it needs to make the round trip to Mars.
If you’ve read Arthur C. Clarke’s science fiction novels or at least seen Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” you can guess the solution to the spacecraft’s weight problem; That we need to reduce the crew’s metabolism to such an extent that they only need to use minimal resources during their 1,100-day journey. In the movie Space Odyssey, we see astronauts hibernate in coffin-like chambers, and in this state, their hearts beat only three times per minute. Their body temperature is slightly below 3 degrees Celsius.
John Bradford, one of the chief executives of SpaceWorks, the Atlanta-based engineering firm that manages NASA’s ambitious research projects, has devoted a large part of his 21-year career to answering the question of what allowed Kubrick as an artist. Ignore it in his film; How exactly can we safely “shut down” the human body so that it is only one step away from death and then be able to revive it whenever we want?
In search of answers
In the first days of his research, Bradford thought of hypothermia therapy as a way to turn off the human body. Hypothermia therapy is a medical technique that lowers the body temperature of people who have suffered a cardiac arrest, usually by injecting cooling fluids to 32 degrees Celsius. As the internal temperature decreases, the body’s metabolic rate decreases to such an extent that the cells can continue to work with approximately 30% less energy and oxygen, thus giving the damaged tissues a chance to repair.
Patients are usually only kept hypothermic for a day or two, as the cold causes severe shivering that can only be controlled with sedative injections and strong neuromuscular blocking drugs. However, Bradford was able to identify a few rare cases in which patients remained hypothermic for up to two weeks. This issue sparked this question in his mind: Why can’t we keep the human body in hypothermia for more than two weeks, and how long can we keep the coma?
In 2013, Bradford convinced NASA’s Advanced Innovative Concepts to fund a project to make human hibernation possible. Bradford told them that if the astronauts could be kept frozen for most of the trip to Mars, their vital resources could be reduced by 60 percent. He also hypothesized that hibernation could protect astronauts from serious physical and mental harm, from harmful radiation to the psychological dangers of isolation and extreme boredom.
A drug that suppresses shivering stops breathing
But a fundamental problem was still there; Medicines used to stop shivering frozen people also stopped them from breathing. Thus, sleeping astronauts must breathe through tubes inserted into their trachea for weeks or months. In addition, using the serum to inject fluids into the body was frightening because the syringe needle increased the possibility of infection in astronauts.
The ideal and dream way to solve this problem was to use a pill to fall into a long sleep and be able to breathe without the need for a tube. Although this extraordinary method seems science fiction, some aspects of it were familiar to Bradford; Because many animal species go to sleep for a long time every winter, and in the state of unconsciousness, their body’s desire for food and oxygen is greatly reduced. When these animals return to their alert state in the spring, they show no signs of muscle atrophy, malnutrition, or other diseases caused by prolonged immobility. Bradford concluded that it is possible to discover the secret of their hibernation by observing and examining these animals.
The beginning of NASA’s hibernation research
And so it happened that Bradford went to the very small community of hibernation researchers, Scientists who had devoted most of their lives to the study of bears, bats, and lemurs, whose hibernation was an essential part of their survival. Their research focused on the molecular changes of these hibernating animals and the reduction of their body metabolism. Since many hibernators are genetically close to us, it is possible that by changing our brains and bodies, we can also hibernate.
By the time Bradford decided to enlist the help of hibernation researchers, Kelly Drew of the University of Alaska had been researching the arctic ground squirrel for more than 20 years. When Bradford first contacted him in 2015, Drew had just made a major discovery and taken the critical first step toward giving humans the power of optional on/off.
When his colleague Brian Barnes put a frozen arctic squirrel in his hands, Drew began studying this animal using the microdialysis technique. In this procedure, small tubes are placed under the living creature’s skull to sample the brain’s neurochemicals, and usually, a wound is created where the tubes enter the skull. However, Drew was amazed at the absence of scarring in the sleeping squirrels after microdialysis. This gave him the idea of the protective properties of hibernation. “Hibernation seemed to protect the brain from damage,” he says.
The discovery of the protective properties of hibernation in animals made Drew’s research more vital in finding a way to induce hibernation in humans.
The main obstacle to the realization of winter sleep in humans is the heart’s sensitivity to rapid temperature changes.
During his time in Fairbanks, Hauck became fascinated with the study of bears. In 1960, he published a paper entitled “Possible Use of Hibernation in Space Travel,” in which he pointed out, for the first time, in precise and scientific detail how the fledgling US space program could benefit from his research. Huck said in this article that winter sleep is just a few steps away, and the main obstacle to its realization is the sensitivity of the human heart to rapid temperature changes.
Hibernations have learned how to overcome this sensitivity, and several labs are currently investigating ways to implement this in humans.
In this article, Hawk also mentioned the potential of hibernation to slow down the aging process.
Because they use much less energy during the year, hibernators live longer than mammals of the same size that do not hibernate.
Hawk estimated that if humans, like bears, could keep their internal body temperatures about 13 degrees cooler than normal, “the aging process would occur at half the normal rate.”
In the early 1960s, Hawk and his colleagues exposed a species of large squirrels called marmots that were hibernating to sudden extreme cold. They discovered that marmots’ brown fat, also present in the human body, produces heat in response to this extreme cold. Hawk research team concluded that brown fat, which warms the body by burning energy stored in cells, could be the secret to humans surviving in the frozen state of hibernation.
But Hawk died in a tragic accident in 1970, and as the Cold War got colder, hibernation research fell out of fashion. With the Pentagon and NASA cutting off funding for this research, biologists looked at hibernation as a field without a future. And since it takes a year to collect data on an animal’s hibernation cycle and compare it to their normal physical activity, research in this area is painfully slow.
However, Kelly Drew was so fascinated by the arctic ground squirrel that he dedicated several decades of his life to research on animal hibernation.
The beginning of the fateful experiments of Kelly Drew for Human hibernation
Every summer, Drew pitched a tent in the northernmost part of Alaska, called the North Slope, to trap arctic squirrels for his laboratory. The US Army Research Office funded his research; Because Drew had convinced them that the results of his research could be used to save severely injured soldiers by quickly and safely cooling their bodies on the battlefield. He told the military organization that he plans to identify the chemicals involved in hibernating arctic squirrels and then test whether these chemicals would have a similar effect on humans.
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Drew, who became an assistant professor at the Arctic Biology Institute in 1993, originally hypothesized that the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid, known as GABA, was primarily responsible for hibernation in squirrels. GABA is essential for inducing sleep; It means the lowest level of metabolism for animals that are not able to hibernate. For example, our human metabolism typically drops by 15% when we sleep. On the other hand, hibernation, in all its complexity, is just a deep sleep; It means a state in which breathing is reduced, and appetite and elimination of waste materials are prevented. For example, bears do not defecate or urinate throughout their hibernation.
However, when Drew injected his squirrels with GABA and a host of related chemicals, they did not induce long-lasting, stable hibernation. Years passed like that, and by the time Drew celebrated his 40th birthday, his efforts to find the molecular key to hibernation had largely been fruitless.
In 2005, an undergraduate chemistry student named Benjamin Warlick started working as an assistant in Drew’s lab. One of Warlick’s tasks was to search the databases for new ideas about chemicals that might trigger hibernation in ground squirrels.
Among the papers Warlick found on hibernation, he came across an unknown paper from Japan’s Fukuyama University on golden hamsters that, although written entirely in Japanese, had a brief abstract in English. In this paragraph, it was mentioned that the article’s authors managed to wake up the golden hamsters from hibernation by injecting a drug that blocks the adenosine A1 receptor in the animal cells. Although the paper’s findings contradicted Drew’s research, Warlick sent it to his boss because he thought it was valuable.
Two years passed before Drew could send the entire article for translation. When he finally read the English version of this article in 2007, he had an idea. If blocking the adenosine A1 receptor (responsible for promoting sleep) wakes sleeping hamsters, perhaps activating them in its squirrels causes them to hibernate.
The key to the mystery of hibernation was in an unknown paper in Japanese.
And that’s exactly what happened; When Drew injected his squirrels with the adenosine A1-stimulating drug CHA, the squirrels’ body temperatures quickly dropped, and they went into hibernation. Of course, this happened only when the CHA drug was injected into them in the winter months. Therefore, there must have been something else going on in the brains of squirrels that prepared them for hibernation.
Although Drew was surprised by the effects of CHA on his squirrels, there were two major problems with using the drug; First, it had to be injected directly into the brain, which, well, sticking a needle into the human brain is rarely recommended, especially if it’s in a non-hospital setting. Second, when CHA enters the body, it engages the A1 adenosine receptors of the heart and slows down its heartbeat so much that it eventually stops beating. Consequently, using CHA in humans seemed possible only in very limited cases.
Now, almost 20 years have passed since the day Barnes put that frozen squirrel in Drew’s hands and planted the seeds of hibernation research in his mind, and Drew still hasn’t found a safe and effective way to induce hibernation in humans.
But then he came up with another idea: to mix CHA with another drug that would block its effect on the heart but still involve the brain. CHA is of the “agonist” type, which stimulates the receptors. But the medicine that blocks the nerve receptors is called an “antagonist.” Drew realized he needed an antagonist for adenosine A1 whose molecules were large enough to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB).
Drew explains how agonists and antagonists behave in the body like this:
If you think of the body as a color map, so that the agonist is red, then red is spread throughout the body because it is stimulating all the receptors. We don’t want this agonist to stimulate cardiac receptors, So we need something to block these receptors. Now suppose the antagonist is blue. We add this to the body, but it’s not supposed to reach the brain. As a result, the whole body turns purple; But the brain is still red.
Adenosine A1 antagonists had been extensively researched, so Drew had several viable options. Finally, he chose the antagonist 8-(p-sulfonyl)theophylline, known as 8-SPT, which is closely related to one of the main ingredients of black tea. Drew decided to inject the 8-SPT and CHA into the abdominal area and conducted several experiments on mice to test the effectiveness of this combination.
The combined drug CHA/8-SPT induced hibernation in mice without complications.
In these experiments, Drew stopped the heart of mice from moving and then brought them back to life by applying CPR. Once the mice were freed from death, one group was given the CHA/8-SPT combination drug, and the other group was left alone to allow their body’s metabolism to repair them at its normal rate. By conducting these experiments, Drew noticed that the mice that received the CHA/8-SPT combination had a better health status than the second group. And perhaps more importantly, the mice in the first group did not develop complications despite receiving the drug. There was no sign of shivering in these mice, and therefore there was no need to inject them with a sedative that would cause problems in their breathing.
Achieved on mice, patented the technique of using the CHA/8-SPT combination drug under the title “Methods and compositions for treating tissue damage by hypothermia”; And the first image he put on his patent form was that of a sleeping arctic ground squirrel, actually a reference to that small but fateful moment in 1992 that changed the course of his life forever.
How did Drew’s research reach NASA?
Familiar with science fiction films such as A Space Odyssey and Planet of the Apes, Drew vaguely knew that his research might one day attract the attention of the space exploration industry. Therefore, he was not surprised when he was contacted by NASA Spaceworks in February 2015. The company had just received funding to advance human hibernation research, and John Bradford invited Drew to join Spaceworks as a senior hibernation consultant.
Drew accepted Bradford’s invitation and soon began testing the CHA/8-SPT combination drug in pigs with anesthesiologist Matthew Kumar. The drug safely lowered pigs’ internal temperature to 30 and 32 degrees, not as much as doctors lower body temperature by intravenous fluids, but close enough.
Meanwhile, University of Colorado biologist Sandy Martin was also researching hibernation. Martin remembers those days:
I thought to myself that what we should do is understand how hibernating animals do this so beautifully and naturally without the slightest harm to their bodies. They don’t even need to use tubes for breathing and feeding.
Martin and his daughter began working on their paper, suggesting several promising avenues for research based on Martin’s genomic analysis of the leopard ground squirrel (a close relative of the arctic ground squirrel). One of the proposed methods was to further investigate a receptor called TRPM8, which plays a very important role in helping leopard squirrels regulate their body temperature during hibernation.
NASA could start injecting CHA/8-SPT in humans as early as 2026
In March 2018, NASA invited Drew, Martin, and a handful of leading hibernation researchers to attend a two-day conference in Mountain View, California; The event was named the first “Space Sleep Workshop.” This conference was a golden opportunity for biologists to convince NASA that with enough funding, they could help humans achieve some degree of hibernation in the next 10 to 15 years. Their timeline matched well with NASA’s plans to send humans to Mars in the late 2030s or early 2040s.
Speaking to NASA officials in this workshop, Martin emphasized that the frequency of hibernation among mammals shows that humans can also achieve it. There are three types of mammals in the animal world: egg-laying monotremes, such as platypus; Marsupials that raise their babies in pouches attached to their bodies, such as kangaroos; And finally, the group of couples that includes us, humans. Martin says:
In all three categories of mammals, there is a species that can hibernate. The simplest explanation for this is that the common ancestor of all three of us was hibernating.
Assuming Martin is right, then all we need to do to deal with humans’ physiological stresses of hibernation is a small genetic change.
Now, NASA accepts that hibernation is critical to making the spacecraft lighter and accepts Bradford’s view that hibernation can solve some of the physical problems astronauts face during long space trips.
Drew is now 63 years old and can’t believe he has spent nearly half his life figuring out the secret of squirrel hibernation. But thanks to the academic research of researchers like Drew, the private sector has also realized the potential of this field. For example, Silicon Valley startup FaunaBio aims to improve treatments for heart and lung diseases by discovering why hibernators survive in stressful conditions that are fatal for most humans.
Hibernation won’t just be for astronauts
If hibernation can one day become a realistic option for humans, even normal people who are not planning to travel to the Red Planet or are in good health could reap the benefits of a long sleep. Earlier this year, a group of UCLA researchers concluded that “the molecular and physiological responses required for hibernation in humans may reverse the aging process.”
Ingestible Sensor Monitors Vital Signs
Ingestible Sensor Monitors Vital Signs. A smart capsule that can be swallowed is designed to monitor vital signs and even detect drug overdoses.
Ingestible Sensor Monitors Vital Signs
In this article we’re going to talk about an ingestible sensor that can monitor vital signs. A smart capsule that can be swallowed is designed to monitor vital signs and even detect drug overdoses.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have developed a new ingestible capsule that can monitor vital signs, including heart rate and breathing patterns, from inside a patient’s digestive tract.
The new device, which can be swallowed like a pill, can track vital signs like breathing and heart rate from inside the body, offering a simple and convenient way to care for people prone to opioid overdoses.
The new device has the potential to be used to detect signs of irregular breathing during opioid overdose, scientists say.
Giovanni Traverso, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT and a gastroenterologist who has worked on the development of a range of ingestible sensors, says the device will be particularly useful for sleep studies.
As the lead author of this study, he says: This device can help diagnose and monitor many health conditions without the need to go to the hospital, which can make healthcare more accessible and supportive for patients.
Usually, sleep studies require patients to be attached to a number of sensors and devices. In labs and in-home studies, these sensors can be attached with wires to a patient’s scalp, temples, chest, and lungs. The patient may also use a nasal cannula, chest belt, and pulse oximeter that can be connected to a portable monitor.
As you can imagine, trying to sleep with all these devices connected to you can be challenging, says Traverso.
Now, a new sensor has been developed by Celero Systems – a startup led by MIT and Harvard researchers – in the form of a capsule.
The device is part of a growing field of ingestible devices that can perform various functions inside the body. Unlike devices such as pacemakers that require surgical implantation, the use of easy-to-swallow devices does not require invasive procedures.
The idea is that a doctor can prescribe these capsules and the patient just has to swallow them, says Benjamin Place, one of the authors of the study and the founder of Celero Systems, which is actually a medical device company in Massachusetts. People are used to taking pills and the cost of using ingestible devices is much lower than traditional medical tests.
This capsule, called VM Pill, works by sensing small body vibrations related to breathing and heart activity. This device can detect from inside the intestine whether a person stops breathing or not.
To test this capsule, researchers put it in the stomach of pigs who were unconscious. The pigs were then given a powerful opioid that could cause respiratory failure. This device measured the breathing rate of the pigs in real time and alerted the researchers. So they were able to reverse the overdose process.
The researchers also tested and evaluated the device for the first time by giving it to people suffering from sleep apnea. This was the first time that ingestible sensor technology was tested on humans.
Sleep apnea causes interruption of breathing during sleep. Many people with sleep apnea are unaware of their condition, in part because its diagnosis requires spending a night in a sleep lab attached to external devices that monitor their vital signs.
Researchers administered VM capsules to 10 sleep apnea patients at West Virginia University. This device controls the breathing rate with 92.7% accuracy.
Compared to external devices, this capsule can control heart rate with at least 96% accuracy.
This test also showed that the use of this device is safe.
This capsule contains two small batteries and a wireless antenna that transmits data. The ingestible sensor, about the size of a vitamin capsule, travels through the digestive tract and collects signals while it’s in the stomach.
Participants in the experiment slept overnight in a laboratory while the sensor recorded their breathing, heart rate, temperature, and stomach movements. The sensor was also able to detect sleep apnea in one of the patients during the experiment.
Findings show that this oral capsule is capable of measuring health metrics with medical-grade diagnostic equipment in a sleep center. Traditionally, patients needing to be diagnosed with specific sleep disorders would have to spend the night in a lab where they would be attached to an array of sensors and devices, but this ingestible sensor technology eliminates that need.
Importantly, MIT says there have been no reported side effects from taking the capsule. The capsule is usually eliminated from the patient’s body within a day or so, although this short shelf life may also limit its effectiveness as a monitoring device.
Traverso says the team plans to equip the smart capsule with a mechanism that would allow it to sit in a patient’s stomach for a week.
Apart from that startup and MIT, this research was conducted by experts from West Virginia University and other affiliated hospitals.
Apart from that startup and MIT, this research was conducted by experts from West Virginia University and other affiliated hospitals.
Dr. Ali Rezaei, director of West Virginia University’s Rockefeller Institute of Neuroscience, said there is great potential to create a new pathway through this device that will help us detect when a patient has overdosed on drugs and is in the process of overdosing. is to do
He added: “The quality and stability of this data was excellent compared to the standard clinical studies we conducted in our sleep labs.” This device enables us to monitor patients’ vital signs remotely without the need for wires or medical staff, allowing patients to be monitored in their natural environment instead of a clinic or hospital.
Researchers even predict that in the future these devices will be able to mix drugs internally, and if the sensor registers that the person’s breathing rate has slowed down or stopped, the appropriate drugs can be released through it.
The researchers say more data from this study will become available in the coming months.
This research was published in Device magazine.
The relationship between high blood insulin levels and pancreatic cancer
The relationship between high blood insulin levels and pancreatic cancer. A new study has confirmed the link between high blood insulin levels and pancreatic cancer.
The relationship between high blood insulin levels and pancreatic cancer
According to New Atlas, a new study has found a link between high blood insulin levels, which are often seen in people with obesity and type 2 diabetes, and pancreatic cancer. The researchers say their findings could lead to new cancer prevention strategies and targeted therapies to slow or stop cancer progression.
Obesity and type 2 diabetes are risk factors for pancreatic cancer, and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most common, aggressive and deadly pancreatic cancers. However, the mechanisms by which obesity and type 2 diabetes contribute to PDAC remain unclear.
Now, a new study by researchers at the University of British Columbia in Canada sheds light on the role of insulin and its receptors in the development of PDAC.
James Johnson, one of the corresponding authors of the study, said: “In addition to the rapid increase in obesity and type 2 diabetes, we are also seeing an alarming increase in the incidence of pancreatic cancer.” These findings help us understand how this happens and highlight the importance of keeping insulin levels in a healthy range, which can be done with diet, exercise and, in some cases, medications.
The pancreas performs the functions of exocrine and endocrine glands. Acinar (exocrine) cells synthesize, store, and secrete enzymes in the small intestine that help digest food, while beta (endocrine) cells make the hormone insulin, which regulates blood glucose levels. Insulin is thought to bind to its receptor on the acinar cell and stimulate the secretion of the enzyme.
Type 2 diabetes is caused by a combination of ineffective and insufficient insulin, leading to insulin resistance and high blood insulin (hyperinsulinemia) because the body produces more hormones to lower high blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia). It is generally accepted that in obesity, the increase in the level of free fatty acids causes insulin resistance, which leads to hyperinsulinemia due to hyperglycemia.
Using mouse models, the researchers investigated what happens in pancreatic acinar cells when the animals have hyperinsulinemia.
“We found that hyperinsulinemia contributes to the initiation of pancreatic cancer directly through insulin receptors in acinar cells,” said Annie Zhang, senior author of the study. This mechanism includes increased production of digestive enzymes, which leads to increased inflammation of the pancreas.
Researchers say, this inflammation leads to the growth of precancerous cells. Their findings could pave the way for new cancer prevention strategies and therapeutic approaches that target insulin receptors on acinar cells.
“We hope this study will change clinical practice and help develop lifestyle interventions that can reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer in the general population,” said study author Janelle Cope. The research could also pave the way for targeted therapies that modulate insulin receptors to prevent or slow the progression of pancreatic cancer.
The researchers also say their findings could have implications for other obesity-related cancers and type 2 diabetes, where elevated insulin levels may also play a role.
Our colleagues in Toronto have shown a similar link between insulin and breast cancer, says Johnson. In the future, we hope to determine whether extra insulin may help other types of obesity- and diabetes-related cancers.
This study was published in the journal Cell Metabolism.
What is Bioprinting and what are its uses?
Bioprinting is a relatively new technology that enables the creation of biological structures and living tissues using layer-by-layer methods. In bioprinting, biological materials such as cells, proteins and biopolymers are used instead of ink.
There are different methods for bioprinting, including extrusion, laser and inkjet. Bioprinting has many applications in medicine, such as making artificial organs, tissue repair, and drug production. Bioprinting is also expected to play an important role in the future of medicine as technology advances.
What is bioprinting ?
Bioprinting is an emerging technology that uses layer-by-layer methods to build biological structures and living tissues. In bioprinting, living cells and biomaterials such as proteins and biocompatible materials are layered on top of each other to create tissues and organs similar to the natural tissue of the human body.
There are different methods for bioprinting:
- Extrusion bioprint: In this method, biological materials such as cells, proteins and biopolymers are printed from a nozzle in a layer on top of each other.
- Laser bioprint: In this method, a laser is used to print cells layer by layer. The laser causes the cells to stick and fuse together.
- Inkjet bioprinting: Similar to inkjet printers, cells and biomaterials are printed instead of ink.
There are three main types of devices for bioprint:
- Extrusion bioprinting devices that print materials using pressure.
Droplet bioprinting devices that print drops of material.
Laser bioprinting devices that stick materials layer by layer using a laser.
Applications of bioprint
The applications of bioprinting will be very wide in the future. Among the most important applications, the following can be mentioned:
- Making artificial organs and transplanting organs: by using the patient’s stem cells, organs such as kidney, liver, heart, etc. can be bioprinted and used for transplantation.
- Repair of damaged tissues: Bioprint can be used to repair burns, wounds and spinal cord injuries.
- Production of personalized drugs: drugs can be personalized and bioprinted based on the patient’s cells.
- Research on drugs and scientific experiments: Fabricated tissues can be used for drug testing and scientific studies.
- Food printing: Bioprinting can be used to produce food in the future.
- Making laboratory models of organs and tissues: these models are used to test drugs and study diseases.
- Fabrication of artificial skin: bioprinted skins have been used to treat severe burns.
- Making a scaffold or mold for angiogenesis: Scaffolds are made from bioprint in such a way as to cause the growth of blood vessels in the damaged tissue.
- Making artificial cartilage: Bioprinted cartilage is used to repair damaged cartilage.
- Artificial bone and membrane construction: Bone and membrane constructed tissues are used to replace damaged tissues.
- Printing drugs and pills: Drugs can be printed using cells and biological materials.
Of course, there are still many challenges in the field of bioprint. including problems such as providing blood supply to the printed tissues, the high cost of the process, and the complexity of making large structures. But with the advancement of technology, bioprinting is expected to play an important role in the future of medicine and the production of biological materials. Stem cells and bioprinting can change the future of disease treatment.
Combining artificial intelligence and bioprinting
It is possible to use a combination of artificial intelligence and bioprinting. Some examples of this combination can be mentioned:
- Designing and optimizing the structure of tissues: artificial intelligence can suggest optimal patterns and structures for printing tissues.
- Print process control: Artificial intelligence can control and optimize the print process online.
- Texture image analysis: Using artificial intelligence techniques such as deep learning, printed textures can be analyzed.
- Simulating the behavior of tissues: Artificial intelligence can simulate the behavior of living tissues to optimize the bioprint process.
- Automation of processes: artificial intelligence can automate parts of the bioprinting process and reduce errors.
- Design of biocompatible materials: Artificial intelligence algorithms are used for the optimal design of materials and biomaterials used in bioprinting.
Therefore, it is expected that in the future we will see the convergence and use of artificial intelligence and bioprinting, which will lead to many improvements.
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Bioprinting and superhuman powers
Bioprint is a very new technology and using it to create superhuman powers in humans is currently considered unethical and illegal. However, a few points should be noted in this regard:
- It is possible to increase human physical strength by bioprint stronger muscles and bones, but this technology is still very immature.
- Bioprinting of the brain and nerves can increase human mental and cognitive capacity, but it also has the risk of irreparable damage.
- Genetic modification of embryos with CRISPR can create desirable traits in humans, but it has many ethical considerations.
- Brain implants such as Neuralink can extend mental capabilities but are still in the experimental stages.
Creating superhuman powers can cause unpredictable side effects in humans.
Bioprint is one of the emerging and very promising technologies in the field of medicine and tissue engineering. This technology is able to create tissues and organs similar to the human body through layer-by-layer printing of cells and biological materials.
There are different methods for bioprinting, which include extrusion, laser and inkjet, and various devices have been designed and built to perform this process.
Bioprinting is expected to find many applications in the near future in the field of artificial organ manufacturing, tissue engineering, personalized medical treatments, etc. Of course, there are still challenges in this field that require more research and development so that bioprinting can achieve commercial and wide applications. All in all, this technology is expected to create a huge revolution in the field of medicine and biotechnology in the not too distant future.
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