Having a medical emergency up in space can be a hassle for astronauts, but experts are working to ease this problem by 3D printing human bones, skin and other body parts for astronauts.
3D printing experts got together at the European Space Research and Technology Center in order to figure out how 3D bioprinting, printing biomaterials like skin tissue or entire organs through a specialized 3D printer, can possibly help to treat astronauts in space.
European Space Agency (ESA) is working on a project named ‘3D Printing of Living Tissue for Space Exploration’ where it will collaborate with local universities to come up with ways to benefit from 3D preprinting technology for medical treatments in space, wrote Futurism.
“Compared to today’s low-Earth-orbiting crews, long distance missions to far away destinations will face very different challenges,” said Sandra Podhajsky, lead scientist of the ESA’s 3D bioprinting project.
ESA has also been looking at various ways for advanced 3D-printing of ‘skin, bone and body parts’ with the help of a special ‘bio-ink’. If this project becomes a success, it will for sure revolutionize medical treatments on Earth as well as in space.
Podhajsky explained, “In the event of a medical emergency a rapid return home will not be feasible. Instead, patients will have to be treated on the spot. Thus we are evaluating the feasibility and added value of implementing different 3D printing technologies and bioprinted tissues into future exploration missions.”