Monday, December 7, 2015

3D printing furthering transhumanism




I have argued time and again that the ultimate aim of transhumanism is to help people.

Two news stories came across my feed relating ways to do just that. Both involve 3D printing to replace parts of the human body.

One development is 3D woven synthetic cartilage that will allow knees to "replace themselves." Innovative researchers at Duke University have devised a three-dimensional woven scaffold. This is a dense material comprised of woven fibers that are strong yet flexible...similar to cartilage in that respect but the material is also porous. This is all rendered in a 3D weaver, a device similar to a 3D printer. Stem cells are removed from the subject, their growth accelerated, and then these cells are injected into the woven scaffold. This scaffold is then placed inside the subject and the cells will continue to grow, eventually replacing the synthetic scaffold.

Also brought to us by the wonders of 3D printing are living blood vessels. Well, 3D bioprinters which are, as in the previous case, operating on a similar method as 3D printing. It uses "bioink," or "basic structural building blocks that are compatible with the human body." This stuff is combined with actual living cells in conditions designed to foster blood vessels to develop on their own. Sadly, the resulting blood vessels cannot be transplanted, but they do allow for us to see what developments could arise from them. Among these innovations could be "organs on a chip" that will (hopefully) reduce the ungodly wait time for organ transplants.

Great steps forward. Granted I'd like to see progress on total cybernetic replacement of organs or those "swarms of nanobots" I keep hearing promised. I keep imagining them bombinating in the bloodstream that repair as they go, but I'm excited for what we have now.

Related, if anybody has designs on cool transhuman tech that will take permanently take away stress and worry, hit me up.


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