Michigan Tech is using 3D printing to help re-create nerve tissue. They do this by using 3D printing to create scaffolding for the nerve structure and then integrating graphine into it as a conductor for electricity, and using this as a method to help promote nerve activity.
Tolou Shokuhfar is the director of the Michigan Tech In-Situ Nanomedicine Institute, and a researcher involved in the project. He has stated that this method may one day be used to help repair spinal injuries by using this technology to rebuild the scaffolding in the spine, allowing for more nerve regeneration. “We are born with all the nerve cells we’ll ever have, and damaged nerves don’t heal very well,” says Shokuhfar “Because of this, helping along the repair of the existing nerve cells with scaffolding could have wide implications.”
All of these new ideas and technologies are coming forth from the world of 3D printing. Pretty soon the science fiction will become science fact, and 3D printing will be at the forefront of that technology surge, helping to inspire innovation from the very beginning.
Millsaps, BRIDGET B. “Michigan Tech Is Pioneering The 3D Printing of Nerve Tissue.” 3Dprint.com. 3Dprint.com, 12 May 2015. Web. 21 May 2015.