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The Future Of Healing: 3D Printing Skin Directly Onto Open Wounds | The Optimist Daily




Pennsylvania State University researchers achieved a major medical science breakthrough by being the first team ever to 3D print real human skin tissue directly onto open wounds. This novel strategy has enormous potential to revolutionize wound healing, reconstructive surgery, and even hair loss therapies.

Addressing imperfections in conventional methods

Traditional wound treatment procedures, such as skin transplants, frequently fail to produce optimal results. Ibrahim Ozbolat, professor of engineering at Penn State and lead author of a paper on the research emphasizes the limitations of present procedures, stating that “reconstructive surgery… is usually imperfect, resulting in scarring or permanent hair loss.” This emphasizes the critical need for new approaches to addressing these limitations.

The breakthrough: 3D bioprinting of living human skin

Building on prior trials with 3D bioprinted skin layers, the research team went on a ground-breaking mission to directly repair damaged tissue through a layered approach. Printing the hypodermis and middle dermis layers allowed the epidermis to grow organically over time, resulting in seamless tissue regeneration. Ozbolat highlights the significance of their findings, adding, “We demonstrate bioprinted, full-thickness skin with the potential to grow hair in rats,” indicating a prospective option for more natural-looking reconstructions.

Bioink: a blend of proteins and stem cells

At the center of this discovery is bioink, a meticulously created combination of proteins and stem cells produced from human adipose tissue. This novel mixture, when coupled with a clotting solution, serves as the basis for tissue regeneration. Ozbolat elaborates on the bioink’s composition, emphasizing its role in wound healing and hair follicle regeneration.

Promising results and future applications

Surprisingly, the 3D-printed skin tissue developed both epidermis and hair follicles within two weeks, demonstrating the approach’s efficiency. Ozbolat anticipates a wide range of applications for this technique, including dermatology, hair transplantation, and reconstructive surgery. He underlines the possibility of “a far more aesthetic outcome,” signaling a new era in medical aesthetics.

Towards translation and implementation

While the research shows great potential, integrating its findings into clinical practice remains a daunting task. Ozbolat acknowledged the obstacles ahead, pointing out that human trials are still on the horizon. Nonetheless, the team’s recent patent grant highlights the transformational potential of its bioprinting process, indicating an important step toward real-world applications.

Redefining possibilities in medical science

As technology expands the bounds of what is conceivable, the promise of 3D-printed living human skin provides new hope for both patients and practitioners. With continuing research and collaboration, this cutting-edge technology has the potential to transform wound care, reconstructive surgery, and beyond. As we approach a new frontier in medical knowledge, the future of healing appears more promising than ever.

Source study: Bioactive Materials— Intraoperative bioprinting of human adipose-derived stem cells and extra-cellular matrix induces hair follicle-like downgrowths and adipose tissue formation during full-thickness craniomaxillofacial skin reconstruction

The post The future of healing: 3D printing skin directly onto open wounds first appeared on The Optimist Daily: Making Solutions the News.


Transforming Tylenol: A Sustainable Path Without Coal Tar Or Crude Oil | The Optimist Daily





Paracetamol, the omnipresent pain reliever found in countless households worldwide, may soon radically adjust its manufacturing method. For more than a century, this medicine, known as acetaminophen in the United States and Japan, has been manufactured using chemicals derived from coal tar or crude oil, raising environmental concerns. However, revolutionary research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggests a possible alternative: using the power of trees, notably poplar wood.

The evolution of paracetamol: from coal tar to poplar trees

Paracetamol, often known as acetaminophen, was first produced in the 1800s and has since become one of the most widely used over-the-counter medications for pain and fever around the world. It was added to the World Health Organization’s Model List of Essential Medicines and sold under brand names such as Tylenol and Panadol. However, its origins in nonrenewable petrochemicals earned it the nickname “coal tar analgesic.”

In the beginning, the starting material for paracetamol’s commercial production was phenol, produced from the distillation of coal tar, which has analgesic characteristics. Industrial phenol was eventually manufactured primarily from crude oil, although it still posed environmental difficulties.

How does this transformation work?

The study team, led by Professor John Ralph, a professor of biochemistry at UW-Madison, and staff scientist at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, Steven Karlen, developed a method for synthesizing paracetamol from lignin, a complex organic polymer found in poplar trees. Lignin is the structural backbone of these trees, and while its chemical structure is complex, the scientists devised a method to easily break it down into useful components. Karlen explains, “You can make dyes like black ink, polymers for textiles, or convert it into adhesives. It has a large market and high value.

The method consists of three steps: breaking down plant-based p-hydroxybenzoate (pHB) into p-hydroxybenzamide (pHBA), turning pHBA into p-aminophenol, and acetylating p-aminophenol to create paracetamol. This process produces an excellent yield of over 90 percent, with high purity levels that could exceed 99 percent with further refinement.

Advantages over traditional methods

The new methodology has various advantages over traditional production processes. It largely uses water-based and green solvents, eliminating reliance on environmentally hazardous chemicals. Furthermore, it functions as a continuous reaction process, as opposed to batch reactions, which are more suitable for industrial scaling.

Karlen elaborates, “As I’m chopping the tree up, it can feed right into a reactor that pulls out the benzamide. So you’re never stopping. As fast as your trucks can come in and fill that hopper, you can keep processing.”

Scaling up: a solution for the future

Looking ahead, the potential influence of the green revolution goes far beyond pain treatment. In 2022, the global market for pHBA, a critical intermediate in the process, was estimated to be worth $66 to 85 million. The researchers believe that by building a network of biorefineries that process poplar wood, production may be scaled up to meet demand sustainably. They envision smaller biorefineries feeding into larger hub refineries, resulting in a market for derived products worth millions to billions of dollars.

The transition from trees to Tylenol represents more than just a change in production methods; it shows a dedication to environmental responsibility and sustainable innovation. With continuous study and collaboration, this ground-breaking strategy has the potential to reshape not only the pharmaceutical sector but also our collective path to a more sustainable future.

Source study: ChemSusChem—Production of biomass-derived p-hydroxybenzamide: Synthesis of p-aminophenol and paracetamol


The post Transforming Tylenol: a sustainable path without coal tar or crude oil first appeared on The Optimist Daily: Making Solutions the News.

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Dog That Flunked Out Of Police Academy Becomes A Hero In Taiwan’s Earthquake Response





To be a drug-sniffing dog you have to be impassionate, which is exactly what this golden retriever was not. Though Roger flunked out of the Kaohsiung City police academy in Taiwan, his career in public service was not over, and has now captured the hearts of his people with his rescue efforts during Taiwan’s recent […]

The post Dog That Flunked Out of Police Academy Becomes a Hero in Taiwan’s Earthquake Response appeared first on Good News Network.

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‘The Javan Tiger Still Exists’ – DNA Found May Herald An ‘Extinct Species’ Comeback





Ripi Yanuar Fajar and his four friends say they’ll never forget the evening after Indonesia’s Independence Day celebration in 2019 when they encountered a big cat roaming a community plantation in Sukabumi, West Java province. Immediately after the brief encounter, Ripi, who happens to be a local conservationist, reached out to Kalih Raksasewu, a researcher […]

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