Biofabrication is a new word for you and others, but this is could be the next best thing for the world. Today, when there are so many non-biodegradable products like plastics present on our planet, this new term ‘Biofabrication’ really holds its value and importance.
Biofabrication at Microsoft Research
You must be thinking what is Biofabrication all about? Biofabrication is the production of tissues and organs in such a way that it helps in curing diseases like cancer and other health related issues automatically. It works on the additive manufacturing concepts also termed as 3D Printing in which gels, cells and fibres are build up into a single construction to replace injured or diseases tissues.
Biofabrication is a emerging field where experts from different fields like engineering, science and medicine have come together to develop tools that can be applied to biological and biomedical applications. With these tools you can minimize the usage of lots of hazardous materials that can cause huge damage to our ecosystem.
Present and future applications of Biofabrication
Some of the present and future application of Biofabrication and its related technologies are as follows:
- In Vitro Assays: This is the type of scientific test that are performed in the laboratory. Biofabrication can prove to be very useful in developing microassays using a very small amount of material. So there will be higher possibility of discovering unknown fundamentals of cells biology, discovering new drugs to cure human diseases as well as improving diagnostic for people who are suffering from chronic degenerative diseases.
- Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering: Progress made in the process of regenerating so medicine has opened many new possibilities and opportunities as well. Advancement made in the process of Biofabrication has created opportunity for the construction of biomimetic 3D scaffolds where new well defined stable architecture can be generated. To repair or reconstruct damaged/ diseased tissues three components are important that is cells, biomaterials as scaffold substrates, and growth factors.
- Breast Reconstruction: Today breast cancer is very common among women all around the world. With this respect Biofabrication-Based Tissue Engineering Strategies can prove to be very useful in dealing with such a disease.
- With the continuous advancement and development is the technology biofabrication is also seen to be contributing in the development of biotechnologies that will help in energy production in future biofuel industry and in the transformation of animal based agriculture by inventing food, leather, fur and other products that are ‘animal-free’.
With regards to Biofabrication, a conference was held on 4th December 2014 in the New York City. The key theme of this conference was bio design, bioethics, living materials etc. and was attended by the people of Microsoft as well, among other innovative working giants.
Erin Smith from Microsoft Research, who has earlier made wedding dress made of fungus, is working on combining wearable computing with Biofabrication to create devices that offer certain health benefits. Smith’s work is a speculative design study intended to provoke conversation around this speculative future in terms of design, use, and possible implications of bio integrated wearable devices. It is believed that Biofabrication has a whole range to cover from wearables and sensors to the Internet of Things and cloud computing.
Learn more about Biofabrication here.