With cutting-edge technology, expansive resources, and communication across the globe, the medical industry is evolving faster than ever before. New procedures, inventions, and theories come out every year. In fact, innovation happens so fast, it’s easy to miss the latest and greatest developments of the healthcare sector. Some medical breakthroughs are so incredible they sound like something straight out of a science fiction novel. Yet in the year 2021, inventions like bionic eyes and organ-on-a-chip technology are very real. Discover some of the most impressive innovations with these mind-blowing medical achievements you should learn about.
3D Printed Body Parts
3D printing has taken over many industries and offered innovations like rapid prototyping, precise parts and materials manufacturing, and even affordable construction. That said, of the most jaw-dropping uses of 3D printing has to be the ability to create body parts. This has the potential to benefit any medical specialty. Dentists use 3D-printed crowns and dentures. Orthopedic surgeons 3D print custom knees or hips for replacement surgeries. Doctors have even been able to print skin cells onto wounds to speed up healing.
Scientists are on their way to curing blindness. Along the way, experts have come up with several mind-blowing medical achievements you should learn about, including the bionic eye. While a bionic eye can’t completely return vision to normal—yet—the technology behind it is still remarkable. The artificial eye consists of a camera set within the patient’s glasses. This camera sends electric messages wirelessly to a retinal implant.
Performing accurate tests before bringing a development to human trials has always been a challenge for scientists, but organ-on-a-chip technology offers a solution. Organ-on-a-chip cultures are 3D microfluidic chips that hold living, growing cells. These cells can grow into functioning tissue and organ samples. The chips themselves can even replicate the activities and responses of an actual organ. For example, lung-on-a-chip cultures expand and retract as if breathing. By exposing these organ-on-a-chip cultures to new drugs, treatments, and other stimuli, scientists can learn more about how the human body would react.
Programmed T-Cells for Leukemia
Scientists and doctors have spent years looking for ways to treat and even cure leukemia and other cancers. A new answer might be on the horizon for patients with lymphoblastic leukemia. A trial treatment known as Adoptive Cell Transfer consists of taking immune cells from the patient, reprogramming them to target the specific cancer cells, then infusing them back into the body. Experimental trials with this treatment have been promising. Even better, this type of treatment creates a potential for treating other types of cancers and even different diseases down the road.