With the approach of the release date of "taxi to Mars" to the future colonists raises the question of living conditions on the red planet. German bio-engineers have found a way to treat possible injuries and fractures away from earth clinics. For the regeneration of the skin and bones of the future "Martians", they proposed to use a 3D printer — and demonstrated the work of the new technology in practice.
To print the skin scientists of the Dresden Technical University under the control of the European Space Agency (ESA) used human blood plasma, which acted as a "biological ink". To simulate the printing of an unusual "consumable" in low gravity, the researchers placed the samples upside down — this did not prevent them from successfully completing the process.
But the skin is not the only thing that researchers were able to print. Using similar "ink", but on the basis of human stem cells and combining the material with calcium phosphate as the basis, scientists have created a complete sample of human bone.
It is not possible to transport all the necessary medicines in a confined space of an already loaded spacecraft. We offer 3D printing, which will help to respond to the urgent conditions of astronauts, — said the head of the Department of structures, machinery and materials ESA.
Developments in the field of biological 3D printing are being carried out to equip astronauts with surgical and medical tools that will help treat injuries, fractures and transplant organs during long-term space flights or during an expedition to Mars.