Patients who tear, rupture or otherwise damage cartilage or other bodily tissue may one day be able to simply go to the hospital and get a replacement, if new “3D bioprinting” technology being developed by a Vancouver firm reaches its full potential.
Aspect Biosystems, which was spun off from UBC research efforts in 2013, says the technology can create — or “print out” — human tissue within minutes, and could one day be able to provide “on-demand parts” for ailing patients.
Tamer Mohamed, Aspect’s CEO, said tissue creation for medical use will need to go through a long process of regulatory testing and certification before seeing the light of day, which he expects will take years. But he added that, if all goes well, patients could see the technology in certain clinical environments “in less than 10 years”.
He noted that Aspect’s recent announcement of a research deal with pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson to create 3D-printed meniscus tissue as an example of how the technology could one day be used.