Review Articles

Potential applications of three-dimensional bioprinting in Regenerative Medicine

Dominic Kwan

It can be argued that the concept of bioengineering began when Alexis Carrel and Charles Lindbergh published “The Culture of Organs” in 1938, which described the equipment and methods that made the in vitro maintenance of organs possible. The final chapter of the book mentions an ‘ultimate goal’ of increasing the speed of wound healing. From its conception in the 1980s to the present day, scientists and medical researchers alike have been investigating the exciting prospects that three-dimensional printing offers to the field of medicine. Over the course of three decades, advances in this technology have led to several famous milestones, in the process spawning the term ‘bioprinting’. In contemporary medicine, bioprinting is beginning to play a role in regenerative medicine and clinical research by providing scientists with the ability to build tissue-engineered scaffolds, prosthetic limbs, and even functioning kidneys. One of the earliest cases of bioprinting made international headlines in 1999 when the world’s first 3D printed collagen scaffold was used for bladder augmentation in dogs. Then, in 2009, researchers at Organovo Inc., a 3D bioprinting company in the United States, created the world’s first bioprinted blood vessels for hepatic tissue by printing tri-layered analogues formed of human fibroblasts (to represent the adventitia), smooth muscle cells (to represent the media), and vascular endothelial cells (to represent the intima).

Diagnostic Imaging in Hereditary Haemorrhagic Telangiectasia: A 10-Year Update

Ruth L Gilliver

Aims: To review the literature from 2006 - August 2016 regarding the diagnostic imaging of hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), considering potential future radiological options as well as the current 2009 International Guidelines.

Integrating Care for Communicable Disease and Non-Communicable Disease

Credit: Penn State, flickr

A Yang

Although communicable disease (CD) and non-communicable disease (NCD) are often thought of as separate, competing entities particularly when it comes to funding pipelines and interventions, the two classes of disease are in fact intimately related. Medical anthropologists and sociologists have long recognized that social determinants such as poverty serve as a common breeding ground for CDs and NCDs, but the relationship between the two kinds of diseases can be even more direct. This article explores the intimate symbiosis between CDs and NCDs through a range of illustrative examples. In some CD-NCD pairs, the CD causes or is etiologically associated with an NCD, illustrating that NCD interventions are sometimes more effective when coupled with CD interventions, such as vaccination programs. In others, the relationship is better characterized as bidirectional, each worsening the outcomes of the other. From a broader perspective, these relationships also connect with each other in a larger web of various CD-NCD interactions. Because of these reinforcing relationships, screening for and treating CDs and related NCDs together rather than separately can more effectively reduce the suffering they cause. Hence, integrating interventions against CDs and NCDs can produce better clinical results than addressing them separately, and given the increasing overlap between the burdens of NCDs and CDs across the world, integration is now as crucial as ever.


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