Insight No. 212: “Breakingthrough Technologies – 3D Organ Bio-Printing”

Creatures, Insights, Nature, Technology

Almost 114,000 people in the United States are currently on the waiting list for a lifesaving organ transplant. Another name is added to the national transplant waiting list every 10 min.. On average, 20 people die every day from the lack of available organs for transplant.

But the shortage of organs for transplant is a universal problem.  Unfortunately, there is a lack of statistics about the demand for organs in other world regions. The statistics below refer to the USA only…

IN GENERAL

3D bio-printing, the process of using bio-ink composed of tissue or human cells, has come a long way over the last decade. The goal of developing functioning whole organs, such as kidneys, livers or hearts, is becoming more and more of a reality.

3D bio-printing uses a typical layer-by-layer 3D printing method, depositing bio-inks or bio-materials, to create 3D tissues or structures used for medicine or tissue engineering. This technology is being applied to regenerative medicine to address the need for tissues and 3D printed organs for transplant.

THE BONES, BODY PARTS & TISSUE

In 2017, a team from the University of Glasgow developed a new technique called “nano-kicking” to grow 3D samples of mineralized bone for the first time. Using this method, the researchers were able to turn stem cells taken from human donors into 3D bone grafts. These grafts could be ready for implantation as early 2020.

In the meantime the group has already demonstrated functional bone grafts after implanting them into a dog’s leg — one which would otherwise have required amputation. This technology is also specifically being funded through a collaborative effort with Find A Better Way. The goal is to help those who have suffered landmine related injuries.

THE HEART

The most promising of of 3D printed organs for transplant is the heart. As organs go, the heart is actually one of the easiest to recreate because it doesn’t employ any complex biochemical reactions. Rather, its primary function is to act as a pump.

Biolife4D, a biotech startup, hopes to create miniature hearts for testing in small animals within a year. The process was developed in part by several research groups:

  • First, a patient’s heart is scanned with an MRI machine, creating a digital render of the shape and size.
  • Next, using a blood sample from the patient, blood cells can be converted into stem cells and then converted again into heart cells. The resulting hydrogel mixture is their bio-ink to be used with a 3D printer.
  • The bio-ink is printed layer by layer onto a biodegradable scaffold. It provides a structure on which cells can grow, forming the exact shape of the patient’s heart.
  • Within a few days, the hearts cells join and begin to beat like a heart. Once ready, the scaffold can be removed with heat and the heart is ready for transplant.

Using the patient’s own cells to prepare the organ means it’s less likely to be rejected by the host. As such, the patient isn’t required to take immune-suppressant drugs, which might otherwise make them susceptible to other diseases.

THE KIDNEYS

Of the potential 3D printed organs for transplant, a 3D printed kidney is one of the most difficult. That’s because of the complexity of the organ’s structure, which is necessary for its function.

In 2016, Jennifer Lewis’ lab at Harvard developed a novel printing method that uses ‘inks’ consisting of kidney cells and surrounding material. This ink ends has the consistency of toothpaste and can be extruded at room temperature, allowing them to make complex tissue structures.

Thanks to this novel ink, the research group has been able to recreate part of the nephron, the functional unit of the kidney. The nephron is responsible for filtering the blood and reabsorbing all of the useful components and excreting out the rest. With this achievement, the field of 3D printed organs for transplant is a lot closer now to creating a functional kidney.

3D printed artificial kidneys are already used for training purposes. More advanced models might act as a substitute for organic implants. Of course, scientist are working on the objective to develop 3D printed kidneys made of organic cells that are suitable to replace the original human organ.

Scientists also work on solutions to replace at least parts of the kidney by 3D bio-printed products to fill the dramatical lack of donors.

THE LIVER

Organovo, a San Diego-based bio-printing company, has already demonstrated that it can 3D print human liver tissue patches, implant them into mice and be functionally beneficial. 

These liver patches are currently as thick as a dollar bill and are used to extend patients’ lives until they can recieve proper transplants. These partial liver transplants are currently targeted for human trials in 2020.

Until liver transplants begin, Organovo is also using their bio-printed liver patches for pre-clinical testing and drug discovery research. Using multi-cellular 3D human tissues that mimic a real liver, they can better assess the effects of specific drugs and compounds without risking lives.

A San Diego-based start-up “printed” the world’s first 3D human liver this year, but cautions that the ability to bioprint transplantable human organs will take years.

THE LUNGS

Scientists successfully 3D print an organ that mimics lungs recently.

In a 3D printing first, scientists have figured out how to print artificial versions of the body’s complex vascular networks, which mimic our natural passageways for blood, air, lymph, and other vital fluids.

“One of the biggest road blocks to generating functional tissue replacements has been our inability to print the complex vasculature that can supply nutrients to densely populated tissues,” says Jordan Miller, assistant professor of bio-engineering at Rice’s Brown School of Engineering.

Miller says our organs contain their own vascular networks, like the lung’s blood vessels and airways, and the bile ducts and blood vessels in the liver. “These interpenetrating networks are physically and biochemically entangled, and the architecture itself is intimately related to tissue function,” he says.

But Miller and his team are the first to develop bio-printing technology that “addresses the challenge of multi-vascularization in a direct and comprehensive way.”

The scientists created a new open-source bio-printing technology that they called “stereolithography apparatus for tissue engineering,” or SLATE. During the SLATE process, layers are printed one at a time from a liquid pre-hydrogel solution. When that solution is exposed to blue light, it becomes solid.

The scientists made a lung-mimicking structure as a test. SLATE held up, showing itself to be sturdy enough to create a rhythmic intake and outflow of “breathing.” Red blood cells had enough room to carry oxygen through the body. Researcher outline that there is still a long way to go to print organic lungs. In fact, they admit they still have to learn more about the human body`s architecture but significant progress is made.

Tipp No. 100: “Anthropocene” – Amazing Landscape and Industrial Photography by Edward Burtynsky (Canada)

arts, Insights, Kunst, Movie, Nature

It was a tough decision to select examples of EDWARD BURTYNSKY`s brilliant series of landscape and industrial photography.

Well, I would like to introduce the ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT that includes a collection of remarkable photographic insights to you…

“[We] come from nature.…There is an importance to [having] a certain reverence for what nature is because we are connected to it… If we destroy nature, we destroy ourselves.”
– Edward Burtynsky

Phosphor Tailings Point #4
Near Lakeland, Florida / USA 2012
Saw Mills #1,
Lagos / Nigeria 2016
Imperial Valley #4
California, USA 2009
Lithium Mines #1
Salt Flats, Atacama Desert, Chile 2017
Clearcut #2
Palm Oil Plantation, Borneo / Malaysia 2016

THE AESTHETIC OF DESTRUCTION

To talk about “Terraforming” of the Earth by mining, urbanization, indus-trialization, industrialized agriculture, deforestation, etc. that is resulting in a reduction of biodiversity, climate changes, equalized biogeographies etc. is a minimization in my view. Let`s face the truth…it is bare destruction.

EDWARD BURTYNSKY is able to capture moments of heart-breaking beauty even within all this destruction. Sometimes it takes a second till you realize the entire scenario. I think, this smart twist contributes to the feeling of disturbance, his work is leaving.

FINE ARTS TO MAKE THE UNSEEN VISIBLE AND TO RISE AWARENESS

Watching his outstanding landscape photography involuntary leaves you with the impression that our planet is eaten alive — by us.

Deadly injured, covered with open wounds and scars, the Earth still provides us with all resopurces we need to further expand, dominate the creation and grow our population without any rhyme or reason.

Desparation, feeling helpless, and guilty… Let`s begin with changing ourself. I am sure that each one of us knows best where and how he is able to reduce his personal ecological footprint….Right?

BY THE WAY, WHAT IS THE “ANTHROPOCENE”?

Admittedly, I had to look it up….

The Anthropocene is a proposed epoch dating from the commencement of significant human impact on the Earth’s geology and ecosystems, including, but not limited to, anthropogenic climate change. Various different start dates for the Anthropocene have been proposed, ranging from the beginning of the Agricultural Revolution 12,000–15,000 years ago, to as recent as the Trinity test in 1945.
The most recent period of the Anthropocene has been referred to by several authors as the Great Acceleration during which the socioeconomic and earth system trends are increasing dramatically, especially after the Second World War. (wikipedia)

Ähnliches Foto
Anthropocene – The Sinkhole in Guatemala City (image of the ETH Zurich)

ABOUT THE ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT

Another collaboration from Nicholas de Pencier, Edward Burtynsky, and Jennifer Baichwal, The Anthropocene Project is a multimedia exploration of the complex and indelible human signature on the Earth.

Originally conceived as a photographic essay and the third in a trilogy of films including Manufactured Landscapes (2006) and Watermark (2013), the project quickly evolved to include film installations, large-scale Burtynsky High-Resolution Murals enhanced by film extensions, 360° VR short films, and augmented reality installations.

Embracing and developing innovative techniques, the trio embarked on an epic journey around the world (to every continent save Antarctica) to capture the most spectacular evidence of human influence, while taking time to reflect on the deeper meaning of what these profound transformations signify. The result is a collection of experiences that will immerse viewers in the new world of the Anthropocene epoch, delivering a sense of scale, gravity, and impact that both encompasses and moves beyond the scope of conventional screens and prints.

The project includes:

  • a major travelling museum exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario and National Gallery of Canada before it will travel to Manifattura di Arti, Sperimentazione e Tecnologia (MAST) in Bologna in Spring 2019;
  • a new release of Edward Burtynsky photographs;
  • a feature documentary film;
  • immersive interactive experiences in augmented and virtual reality;
  • an art book published by Steidl;
  • and a comprehensive educational program.

theanthropocene.org

IN THE NEWS (09th Jan. 2019): ANTHROPOCENE won $100K Rogers Best Canadian Film Award – Congratulations!

ABOUT EDWARD BURTYNSKY

Edward Burtynsky (born February 22, 1955) is Canadian photographer and artist known for his large format photographs of industrial landscapes. His work is housed in more than 60 museums including the Guggenheim Museum, the National Gallery of Canada, the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, the Tate Modern in London, the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris and others.

Burtynsky received his BAA in Photography/ Media Studies from Ryerson University in 1982, and in 1985 founded Toronto Image Works, a darkroom rental facility, custom photo laboratory, digital imaging and new media computer-training centre catering to all levels of Toronto’s art community.

Early exposure to the sites and images of the General Motors plant (the workplace of his father) in his hometown helped to formulate the development of his photographic work. His imagery explores the collective impact we as a species are having on the surface of the planet; an inspection of the human systems we’ve imposed onto natural landscapes. 

Edward Burtynsky won several well-known prices & awards (e.g. Officer of The Order of Canada in 2006) and received several honorary doctorates.

Furthermore, he is an active lecturer on photographic art, who is welcome in various notable galleries, universities and libraries.

His images appear in numerous periodicals each year including Canadian Art, Art in America, The Smithsonian Magazine, Harper’s Magazine, Flash Art, Blind Spot, Art Forum, Saturday Night, National Geographic and the New York Times.

For further details, please feel free to visit his website that contains more galleries of awesome photos, an overview of his publications and EDWARD BURTYNSKY`s event calendar:

https://www.edwardburtynsky.com/

Shared No. 117: “Family Photo Friday!” — by John Spiers (Blog: My Life With Gracie”)

arts, Cartoons, Creatures, humor, Insights, Kunst, Nature, Tipps, Zen

Last Saturday, I set up what you might call “The Smallest Book Promotion Booth In The World” at out church’s annual Flower Festival. (All royalties from the book until December 31st of this year will go to support the mission of St. John’s Church.) The little wooden stepladder was the one my chickens used when […]

Family Photo Friday! — My Life With Gracie

Tipp No. 8: Amazing 3D Organic Forms In Biomorphic Shapes by the Artist Sui Park (South Korea, now: USA)

arts, Creatures, humor, Kunst, Nature, Tipps
Mostly-Cloudy-at-PFL861_861
Clouds
Undulating Beauty
Sprout-1-861_861
BT-3861_861
Between Tides
Blue-Print-3-861_861
2.-Flow861_861
Flow
Journey-3-861_861
Memories-4-861_861
Memories

ABOUT THE ARTIST SUI PARK

Sui Park _ 박수이

Sui Park is a New York based artist born in Seoul, Korea. Her work involves creating 3-dimensional flexible organic forms of a comfortable ambiance that are yet dynamic and possibly mystical or illusionary. 

She is currently holding a solo exhibition, Floating Imagery at the Pelham Art Center, Pelham, New York. She also had a solo exhibition, Playing with Perception at the Denise Bibro Fine Gallery in Chelsea, New York, Garden of Humans at the Kingsborough Community College, CUNY in Brooklyn, NY in 2016. She participated in over 80 exhibitions, including an ongoing exhibition, The 5th Textile Art of Today at Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum in Bratislava, Slovak republic where she received the Excellent Award in September 2018. Park’s artwork has been acquired by numerous places including Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in United States.

Sui Park’s education includes MDes in Interior Architecture at Rhode Island School of Design in 2013 and BFA in Environmental Design at Maryland Institute College of Art in 2011. Sui Park also has MFA and BFA in Fiber Arts at Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea.

THE ARTISTS STATEMENT

“My work involves creating 3-dimensional organic forms mostly in generic and biomorphic shapes. Through these forms, I attempt to express seemingly static yet dynamic characteristics of our evolving lives. While they resemble transitions, and transformations of nature, the forms are also to capture subtle but continuous changes in our emotions, sentiments, memories and expectations.

I weave and connect traces and tracks of the subtle changes into organic forms. The organic forms are made with mass-produced industrial materials, in particular, Monofilament and Cable Ties. They are non –durable, disposable, trivial, inexpensive and easily consumed materials. But, when I weave and connect them, they are transformed into organic visualizations. I want them to be creating lasting moments, evoking and encapsulating our precious thoughts.

I often find these moments from nature. I think nature allows us to pause and find things that have been overlooked and are inspiring. Nature provides me with rooms to find breakthroughs and answers, and gives me time to ponder into thoughts. Through my work, I want to bring to our attention the moments that nature allows us to find and look back. I present nature in abstract porous ways so that they can be filled with our moments.” (cit. Sui Park)

For more details and further impressions of her arts, please have look at her website: http://www.suipark.com …if you share my enthusiasm.

Sui Park is also represented on Instagram and Pinterest with her organic installation arts.

Her contact details according to her website:

suiparkart@gmail.com
artist.suipark@gmail.com

Postcard No. 31: “ALNWICK” – Alnwick Poison Gardens, England

humor, Insights, Nature, Oddities, Reisen, Tipps, Travel
The gate to the garden
Arum Lilies – Don`t stop, touch, eat and smell!
Childrens must be accompanied at all times.

While the trumpet plant Brugmansia was described by the duchess as “an amazing aphrodisiac before it kills you” and relaying that Victorian ladies sprinkled the pollen in their tea for LSD-inspired effects, further research into this plant suggests that the kind death it serves up is nowhere near pleasant – causing sweat-soaked convulsions and foaming at the mouth.

Ready for an adventure? …then enter the Alnwick Poison Garden in Northumberland.

ALNWICK – Alongside the typical gardens you would expect to see near an English castle is the Poison Garden of Alnwick. Behind the locked gates of the Poison Garden, guides share tales of deadly plants. Myths and legends are uncovered, along with facts from science and history.

Established in 2005, this unusual garden houses more than one hundred infamous killers; plants that throughout history have been responsible for countless deaths and illnesses, and used by many as an instrument of murder.

An unusual botanical garden, where only deadly or narcotic flowers are grown, this strange Alnwick Poison Garden was the idea of duchess Jane Percy and it was opened in 2005.

The opening required many of government’s permissions, as the garden is host to many dangerous plants, such as cannabis, opium poppies, magic mushrooms, deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna), hemlock (Conium maculatum) and much more.

Before entering the garden you will see the signs with warnings not to touch the flowers or even to smell them, as it can be deadly. The walk in this garden can be compared to walk on the edge, but at least it makes it fun.

For more details, please visit the gardens website:
https://web.archive.org/web/20150405215459/http://www.alnwickgarden.com/explore/whats-here/the-poison-garden

Beautiful Creatures No. 35: Icelandic Horses

Creatures, Nature, Reisen, Travel
Bildergebnis für Iceland pony
Bad hair day? Never heard of it.

Iceland Ponies…Time for a Declaration of Love.

They are real buddies and free spirits, who astonishingly seek and seem to enjoy the company of humans.

Loyal, friendly, affectionate, curious, smart, extraordinary relaxed and even-tempered, super-cute, strong personalities, cooperative and resilient….these are the characteristics which pop up immediately if people think of Islandic horses.

To put it in a nutshell – Islandic Horses are truely beautiful creatures!

Bildergebnis für Icelandic pony cuddling
Brin, A Sleeping Beauty
Only Islandic horses are capable to perform a 5th pace, called “TÖLT”. Due to the fact that always one foot is on ground, this pace results in a stable forward movement that is very comfortable for the Human.
Bildergebnis für Island ponies in winter
The Islandic Horses are living in herds in their natural habitat. During summertime they live independently in the uplands and in the wintertime in the valleys where they are additionally fed by their owners
Bildergebnis für Island ponies in winter
How are you, little one?
Bildergebnis für Icelandic horses at the black beach
Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
Bildergebnis für resting with icelandic horses
Resting with Sláni

Tipp No. 70: Water Colour Wildlife & Landscape Paintings by The Artist Ben Woodhams (Denmark / Bornholm Island)

arts, Creatures, Kunst, Nature, Reisen, Tipps, Travel

I totally fell in love with Ben`s work…I would like to share a few of his wonderful water colour paintings.

As you might have noticed from visiting my tiny blog, I am at home in Northern Germany. Northern Germans are often teased by calling them: “fish heads, shell pushers and dike tramplers”.  I suppose, I am touched by Ben`s art because on one hand I know his themes well and because ….I can feel the weather looking at his paintings, on the other hand I seem to share his perspectives and perception of moods, colours, surface structures etc…Besides, the picture composition and other details of Ben`s aquarelles reminds me on Japanese paintings. 

However, I am very glad that I stumbled upon his wordpress blog linked to his website:

 https://benwoodhams.com/

ABOUT BEN WOODHAMS

Ben Woodhams is an English artist and illustrator currently living and working on the Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea.

After beginning a career in museums and art galleries as an exhibition curator and designer, Ben and his family moved to Bornholm in 2008, where he works as an artist, illustrator and educator.

Ben’s practice is founded in direct observation and specialises in birds, working primarily in watercolour. Studies of living birds are made in the field, while dead birds are taken to the studio. Moments in time, and the relationship between the process of observation and depiction, are the engines that drive Ben’s work – the tension between the ‘need’ to capture the moment or the vision, and the desire to let the medium speak its own language.

Recently Ben has been studying changes in the landscape through space and time. The patterns made by a passing flock of cranes, the rising tide within a rock pool, shadows moving over a rock during a day, an oilseed rape field blooming over a period of weeks, changes through the seasons and over years.

Of course, Ben is offering original paintings as well as limited printed editions for purchase.

Interestingly, he is teaching aquarell painting  & drawing (in English and Danish language) for private and public groups (all age classes) additionally.  
He focus on observation-based drawing, watercolour painting and relief printing techniques and put emphasis on outdoor drawing and painting.

Just a few impressions of BORNHOLM – as a teaser that I don`t need anymore….Maybe, we will see each other on Bornholm island in 2019?

Poem No. 210: “Days Back Then” – by Tunuri

Creatures, Gedichte, Nature, poems

The days back then were great
With very less fear of fate 

The fun was neither in glories
Nor in the gifts we receive
It was in listening to the stories
Which were hard to believe

The Cycle Rides, before the Sunrise 
Catching Fireflies, before the night dies

The magic of the rainbow, while it’s raining
Holding mom, scared of thunder & lightning

Sleeping on the grass gazing at the moon 
Haven’t realized how my childhood ended so soon