3D Printed Stem Cells to Aid Cranial Reconstruction

The human brain is one of the most powerful tools of our body, but as the same time one of the most fragile as well. It must be kept secured inside a sturdy skull and make sure it’s intact. However, there are people who are not so lucky and are in need of cranial reconstruction. It could be an inborn skull related deficiency or it could be the result of an unfortunate accident. And through it all, 3D printing plays a big role.

We have already heard from the past how 3D printing became a game changer in this kind of situation. One is a Chinese farmer who had a very successful titanium mesh skull replacements. Another is a little girl with an inborn congenital hydrocephalus who had a second chance in life through the help of advanced 3D printing method. Inspired with such stories, researchers from Western Australia are now finding ways on how to maximize the benefits of 3D printing which involves reconstruction of the human skull from stem cell cultures.

The research project is in progress within the Royal Perth Hospital and it is being fully supported by the State Government. It is funded with the main objective of providing
patients who have injured or surgically removed skull fragments with a first-rate cranial reconstruction surgery. The researchers are possibly visualizing that 3D stem cell-based skull replacement can improve the success rate of this very intensive and complicated surgery. The Royal Perth Hospital is one of the nine hospitals selected by the State Government to be granted nearly $2 million for the execution of the project.

Although this isn’t the first time we heard the use of bioprinting for cultured stem cell, this project has proved to be a more advanced one. In fact, according to Australia’s Health Minister Kim Hanes, this project unveiled some of the innovative and
groundbreaking research that is under way in WA’s public health system, and the commitment of the Government to supporting this very significant work.

Based on the story Australian Researchers to 3D print with Stem Cell for Cranial Reconstruction by Tyker Koslow