Insights and innovation from both recognized and emerging thought leaders in biomedical engineering. Access white papers, case studies, and interviews — plus content from Frost & Sullivan that’s only available to AABME registrants.
4D printing is an emerging and highly innovative additive manufacturing process, by which pre-designed, self-assembly structures are fabricated with the ability to transform over time. The concept of 4D printing was first introduced by Skylar Tibbits, an architectural designer and computer scientist from MIT, via a widely broadcasted TED talk in February 2013. 4D printing refers to the process of generating 3D-printed objects that have the capability to self-transform in conformation or functionality when exposed to a predetermined, applied stimulus. Various stimuli that can be used to confer transformations within printed constructs can include physio-mechanical stimuli, such as modulating osmotic pressure, as well as subjecting the construct to various energy sources such as heat, electrical current, and ultraviolet light. In contrast to the paradigm of 3D-printed objects, which are static in both space and time, novel 4D-printed objects appear to be intrinsically dynamic and demonstrably tunable as a function of time and stimuli.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, among which coronary artery disease is the deadliest, causing about 25% of total deaths. Coronary artery stenosis and occlusion is caused by plaque build up in the arteries supplying blood to heart muscle. Severe coronary artery disease is often treated with coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) where blood is redirected around blockages in the coronary arteries using a graft taken from another part of the body. CABG is performed roughly 400,000 times a year in the United States alone. Another non-surgical treatment option is percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), where a balloon catheter is inserted into the coronary lesion and inflated to open up the artery. PCI is performed roughly 500,000 times per year. Understanding coronary blood flow may lead to better understanding of coronary artery disease progression and in determining optimal therapeutic options for individual patients.
The ability to decipher the information stored in genomes and precisely modify them will revolutionize many areas, including healthcare, agriculture, the environment and energy. Over the last few decades a tremendous amount of genomic information has accumulated, thanks to the Human Genome Project. To utilize the growing availability of genomewide data and increasingly powerful bioinformatics, it is necessary to develop equally powerful molecular tools to rapidly and precisely manipulate genomic content. With the recent development of engineered programmable nucleases such as clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) and CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins, transcription activator-like (Tal) effector nucleases (TALENs) and zincfinger nucleases (ZFNs) (Figure 1)1-6, we now have extremely efficient molecular scissors that can cut genomic DNA in cells at preselected locations.
The growing organ shortage costs tens of thousands of lives and billions of dollars in healthcare expenditures each year, according to a recent roadmap from the Organ Preservation Alliance.1 In previous efforts, nanotechnology has been identified as a key platform that can lead to advances in organ banking and transplantation.2,3 Nanotechnology is poised to play a pivotal role in organ preservation and transplantation in the coming years
The creation of highly organized multicellular constructs, tissues, and organoids will revolutionize regenerative medicine. Industrial-scale manufacturing of tissues and organs in a controllable fashion requires completely new theories and new technologies, which in turn requires the breaking of new ground. It has become clear that biomanufacturing is an emerging field that requires much additional effort to create the new technologies and tools that enable tissue and organ production to eventually reach an industrial scale.