This research has recently been published in the electronic version of the scientific journal Biofabrication. In this article, the team of researchers has demonstrated, for the first time, that, using the new 3D printing technology, it is possible to produce proper human skin. One of the authors, José Luis Jorcano, professor in UC3M’s department of Bioengineering and Aerospace Engineering and head of the Mixed Unit CIEMAT/UC3M in Biomedical Engineering, points out that this skin “can be transplanted to patients or used in business settings to test chemical products, cosmetics or pharmaceutical products in quantities and with timetables and prices that are compatible with these uses.”
This new human skin is one of the first living human organs created using bioprinting to be introduced to the marketplace. It replicates the natural structure of the skin, with a first external layer, the epidermis with its stratum corneum, which acts as protection against the external environment, together with another thicker, deeper layer, the dermis. This last layer consists of fibroblasts that produce collagen, the protein that gives elasticity and mechanical strength to the skin.
Bioinks are key to 3D bioprinting, according to the experts. When creating skin, instead of cartridges and colored inks, injectors with biological components are used. In the words of Juan Francisco del Cañizo, of the Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón and Universidad Complutense de Madrid researcher. “Knowing how to mix the biological components, in what conditions to work with them so that the cells don’t deteriorate, and how to correctly deposit the product is critical to the system.” The act of depositing these bioinks, which are patented by CIEMAT and licensed by the BioDan Group, is controlled by a computer, which deposits them on a print bed in an orderly manner to then produce the skin.
This is more than idle talk for Japan’s second-richest man. SoftBank’s recent deals include the $32 billion acquisition of ARM Holdings Plc, the chip designer that Son believes will play a key role in the development of artificial intelligence, and a $1.2 billion group-led investment in satellite startup OneWeb Ltd. The Japanese telecoms and Internet company is also in the process of creating a $100 billion Vision Fund with Saudi Arabia and other backers that would make Son one of the world’s biggest technology investors.
SoftBank Group expects to invest at least USD 25 billion over the next 5 years. SBG has concluded a non-binding memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) on October 12, 2016 with the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (“PIF”), under which PIF will consider investing in the Fund and becoming the lead investment partner, with the potential investment size of up to USD 45 billion over the next five years. In addition, a few large global investors are in active dialogue to join SBG and PIF to participate in this Fund. The overall potential size of the Fund can go up to USD 100 billion.
“With the establishment of the SoftBank Vision Fund, we will be able to step up investments in technology companies globally. Over the next decade, the SoftBank Vision Fund will be the biggest investor in the technology sector. We will further accelerate the Information Revolution by contributing to its development.”
Solar DC microgrids could do for electrification what mobile phones did for telephony
In the industrialized world, the power grid is so reliable that we take it for granted. But in India, where blackouts are a sad fact of daily life, being connected to the grid is no guarantee of reliable electricity. In a 2015 study of villages in six Indian states, for example, the vast majority reported having fewer than 4 hours of electricity per day; nearly half of the households that reported having a grid connection nevertheless had effectively no electricity. Chief among the reasons they cited were poor reliability, quality, and affordability. In many parts of the country, even middle-income households still find themselves held hostage to frequent power cuts that can last anywhere from a few hours a day to most of the day. Those who can afford to often install diesel generators, an expensive and polluting option.
IBM is excited about what the future holds for us in terms of technology within the next five years. They predict there will be enhanced medical abilities available to us via our smartphones, devices that will give people new abilities, and, pretty much, AI enhanced everything.