Posted:March 14, 2018
By Sara Marie Moore/Vadnais Heights Editor | Press Publications
WHITE BEAR LAKE — Students at Century College will soon be 3-D printing with body cells.
The college has plans to launch a certificate program in biomanufacturing fall or spring semester 2019, said Randy Jasken, additive and digital manufacturing faculty member. The program will be in partnership with the biology department.
The University of Minnesota 3-D Bioprinting Center is partnering with the college to assist the launch, said its director, Dr. Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari, at a medical 3-D printing presentation hosted by the Vadnais Heights Economic Development Corporation (VHEDC) in Shoreview March 6.
Century College students toured the bioprinting center two weeks ago, Jasken said. He also brought several students to hear Panoskaltsis-Mortari speak at the VHEDC event about advances in bioprinting and what its future role could be in general medical practice.
Last fall, Panoskaltsis-Mortari launched the first 3-D bioprinting course in the country at the University of Minnesota. Students 3-D print cells to make tissues and organs.
This is how it works: Adult skin cells are reprogrammed to be like embryonic stem cells, which in turn are made into the desired type of body cell to be used in 3-D printing.
“The idea here is you would be making an organ using a patient’s own stem cells,” Panoskaltsis-Mortari said. These tailor-made organs may be less prone to rejection than transplants from other people.