3D printing is opening several promising doors into a future of near-infinite possibilities. One of the most important skills to learn for the more wise and intelligent prepper-survivors is the ability to print useful tools and replacement parts in 3D, using a wide range of physical media. Readers may find these video tutorials useful, for breaking into the field. This free online course in bioprinting may help to expand your 3D thinking into the bio-ink realm.
But if we wish to greatly extend our lifespans using bioprinted replacement organs-on-demand, we will need to develop our 3D printing skills to an exponentially higher level than can be currently found in even the best labs.
Human organs are self-assembled out of incredibly intricate biological tissue types, delicately interwoven into a functioning bio-fabric that cannot be replicated by the best of human technologies.
Because of the complexity of printing and growing human organs in the lab, we are forced to take the most practical approach to growing human replacement organs, which is to grow them inside other animals.
Braving a funding ban put in place by America’s top health agency, some U.S. research centers are moving ahead with attempts to grow human tissue inside pigs and sheep with the goal of creating hearts, livers, or other organs needed for transplants.
The effort to incubate organs in farm animals is ethically charged because it involves adding human cells to animal embryos in ways that could blur the line between species.
The ability to grow human – animal chimera organs for transplant may reduce the sort of abuses by government and organised crime inside nations that utilise political prisoners’ organs for transplant, or that illegally traffic human organs sold on the black market — or seized to settle gambling or loan shark debts. But such abuses are not likely to be halted anytime soon.
Scientists are Exploring Multiple Approaches to Extending Lifespan
Excellent websites such as Fight Aging! take us to the edge of scientific research in longevity and life extension. As you can see from this article, Fight Aging! is also keeping an eye on bioprinting possibilities for life extension.
NewOrgan.Org is a part of the Methuselah Foundation that seeks to speed the research and development of available human organs for transplant using prizes, partnerships, and other means. Using approaches from preservation, rejuvenation, synthetic biology and tissue engineering, and more, New Organ works to make replacement organs more widely available to future generations.
Through its Amrita Initiative, RSI is developing the regenerative and synthetic bio-technologies necessary to alleviate the infirmities and diseases of aging. How? By creating the tools to program living systems as we program computers. By transforming research into inventions, and then entrepreneurial ventures. What would you do to stay healthy into old age, to have the time to live life full measure?
SENS.org takes a quite broad-based approach to the research of aging and anti-senescence. SENS helps to fund and coordinate many of the advanced approaches to anti-aging which will likely generate multiple “spin-off” applications to the treatment and prevention of aging.
3D Printing: Best to Start Learning Now
When TSHTF, bringing on TEOTWAWKI, the smart and wise prepper-survivor will already be set up and competent for printing survival-enabling tools, replacement parts, weapons, ammunition, medicines, vital chemicals, and other useful items needed for a well-functioning homestead.
While bioprinting entire human organs remains out of reach due to the incalculable complexity involved, the smart prepper-survivor will be able to bioprint simpler tissue ensembles that will likely extend the lifetimes of multiple survivors in the immediate surroundings.
The quest for a better diabetes treatment continues as researchers look for a way to substitute daily injections with a more convenient delivery method. And now scientists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University have loaded a skin patch with insulin-producing beta cells to safely control blood sugar levels.
Building on work from last year, in which the same team of scientists developed a smart insulin patch loaded with straight insulin, this new patch goes straight to the source of the treatment. By filling the patch with beta cells as opposed to bubbles of insulin, the device can react to higher blood sugar levels when needed and still avoid the risk of hypoglycemia.
The clever skin patch device described above, for example, contains living pancreatic beta cells which react to changing levels of blood glucose in the body of the person who is “patched.” Essentially a supplemental pancreas stuck to (and penetrating) the skin, such a patch could be 3D printed using combined bioprinting and non-biological media printing.
It is easy to conceive of other printable “mini-organ replacements” which could be used as skin patches — or implants into soft tissue — which could be made practical long before whole-organ bioprinting is possible. Bioprinted living tissue that is separate from — but communicates with — the internal body milieu, will act as useful stop-gap measures while more permanent solutions for tissue and organ pathologies are developed.
Printing Prosthetic Limbs that Fire Exploding Grenades
When TSHTF leading to TEOTWAWKI, one must consider all of the applications of 3D printing, if one is to survive to see the sprouting of the seeds of the next level. Printed houses, boats, planes, hovercraft, clothing, tools, pumps, motors, heating / cooling systems, drones of all kinds, robotic helpers, and useful prosthetic devices will all be needed to help the compleat homestead function at its harmonious and productive best.
Imagine, for example, that a prepper-survivor has lost a limb through one of the inevitable accidental or battle scenarios which will occur after TSHTF. One will want to print a range of replacement limbs, of course. But a replacement limb with self-contained advanced ordnance would hit the spot, should TS be hitting TF in any close proximity.
In fact, there is no end to which 3D printing could not be applied by a prepper-survivor, should he be wise, intelligent, competent, and creative enough.
Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late for an exciting, Dangerous Childhood.