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Il corpo stampato

L’oggetto nella vetrina qui sopra è un vaso sanguigno umano creato attraverso un processo di stampa 3D che utilizza una sorta di “inchiostro” di cellule viventi. La procedura, sviluppata al Technion-Israel Institute of Technology di Haifa, per ora non è grado di ricreare organi completi, ma delle lunghezze di midollo spinale generate con la tecnica sono già state utilizzate per ridare la mobilità a cavie di laboratorio paralizzate da danni alla schiena.

Secondo l’Istituto, che ha recentemente aperto un “centro stampa” per componenti biologici, le loro bio-stampanti sono in grado di acquisire le necessarie informazioni dalle scansioni del danno traumatico subito da un paziente e poi tradurle in un “ricambio” perfettamente adatto, per dimensioni e funzione, a sostituire la parte danneggiata. Il problema del rigetto è superato utilizzando un campione di tessuto del paziente di destinazione per preparare il bio-inchiostro.

Un’altra équipe, sempre israeliana, dell’Università di Tel Aviv, ha annunciato a metà aprile di avere “stampato” un cuore umano completo, per quanto non di dimensioni reali. L’organo prodotto è grande circa quello di un coniglio. Le cellule che compongono il tessuto sono “vitali”, per quanto non ancora capaci di sincronizzarsi tra loro per generare un battito regolare – una mancanza che i ricercatori si aspettano di risolvere attraverso una forma di “addestramento” cellulare.

Sono notizie che normalmente non apparterebbero a una nota sul design, se non fosse per un punto interessante. È del tutto inevitabile che qualcuno, vedendo sul terminale l’elemento da riprodurre, deciderà di migliorarlo… Di lì il passo alla creazione di organi “di concezione originale” è probabilmente altrettanto inevitabile. Siamo sulla soglia della capacità di ridisegnare il corpo umano.

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