How to Purify Meso Lactide?

How to Purify Meso Lactide?

How to Purify Meso Lactide?

Meso-lactide is a valuable chemical used in the production of bioplastics and other medical supplies, but it must be purified before use. As the world’s demand for sustainable materials increases, so does the need to develop efficient and effective ways to purify meso-lactide.
In this article we will delve into the methods of purifying meso-lactide and provide a step-by-step guide on how to do it. Through careful consideration of reaction temperature, raw material requirements, optical activity analysis, and more, you can finally achieve your goal of pure meso-lactide – something that will help us create a brighter future for our planet.

Goal of Purification

The goal of purifying meso-lactide is to improve the quality of the material so that it can reach its full potential. This involves removing impurities, such as organic acids or water, which can have an adverse effect on certain products made with meso-lactide. Purification also helps reduce costs by increasing efficiency in production processes involving meso-lactide.

Materials and Methods for Purifying Meso-Lactide

The materials and methods used to purify meso-lactide vary depending on the project and desired outcome. Generally, recrystallization is the most popular method due to its effectiveness in removing impurities while preserving the desired product. This involves dissolving meso-lactide in a solvent such as ethyl acetate or dichloromethane, and then cooling it until crystals form. The impurities are left behind in the solution, leaving only pure meso-lactide behind.
Distillation is another common purification method that removes impurities by vaporizing them out of the solution. Liquid–liquid extraction is also used in some cases to separate out different components of a solution. Finally, ion exchange chromatography can be used when more precise control over purity levels is required.
No matter what technique is used, proper purification of meso-lactide is essential for any application involving this material. With proper purification in place, companies can get the most out of their meso-lactide and ensure that their products meet industry standards for quality and consistency.
With proper purification methods in place, meso-lactide can become a reliable and versatile material for many applications. But to get the most out of this raw material, it’s important to consider the raw material requirements as well – stay tuned for more information!

Separation of Meso-lactide

Separation of meso-lactide can be achieved through a variety of methods, but one of the most common is the process known as chromatography. Chromatography works by separating compounds based on their chemical properties and relative affinities for different substances. This type of separation has been used with great success to separate meso-lactide from other components present in a mixture.
The most commonly used form of chromatography for meso-lactide is high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). HPLC involves passing a sample through a column which contains an adsorbent material that interacts with the compounds it contacts. Compounds are then separated based on their relative affinities for different parts of the column and collected at various points along the length of the column.
HPLC can be further enhanced by using various techniques such as temperature control or adding certain reagents to adjust the polarity of a compound so it can interact differently with the stationary phase in order to achieve higher levels of purity. Through careful adjustment, companies can use HPLC to achieve highly pure samples of meso-lactide for their applications.
By using high performance liquid chromatography, companies can easily and effectively separate meso-lactide from other components in a mixture. Next, we’ll explore the process of hydrolysis and how it can be used to break down meso-lactide into its component parts.

Hydrolysis of Meso-Lactide

Hydrolysis of Meso-Lactide is a process used to break down the polymer into its individual components. This is typically done using an acid or base catalyst, which breaks the bonds between the molecules allowing them to be separated. The hydrolysis process can be used with meso-lactide to produce lactic acid monomers, oligomers and polymers.
The process of hydrolysis can also be used to purify meso-lactide by removing impurities that may be present in the sample. This is achieved by exposing the sample to a certain pH level for a period of time which will cause any impurities present in the sample to react and become insoluble. These insoluble materials can then be removed from the solution via filtration or centrifugation leaving behind pure meso-lactide.
With this method, companies are able to achieve a high degree of purity when producing their products from meso-lactide as it ensures that their final product contains no contaminants that could interfere with its intended use. Additionally, this method is relatively inexpensive compared to other separation methods making it one of the most cost-effective ways for companies to purify meso-lactide for use in their products.

Optical Activity Analysis

Optical Activity Analysis is a method used to determine the purity of meso-lactide. This process involves measuring the sample’s rotational polarization when exposed to specific wavelengths of light. The optical activity of a sample can be used to calculate its optical and chiral purity, allowing for quality control testing and ensuring that the product meets industry standards.
The most commonly used technique for Optical Activity Analysis is Circular Dichroism (CD). CD measures the difference in absorption between left and right circularly polarized light in order to determine how much of each type of rotation has been absorbed by the sample. This information can then be used to calculate the optical purity or enantiomeric excess (ee) of the sample.
This method is also useful for determining any impurities present in a sample and can be used to identify different compounds based on their specific rotation. By using this information, companies can ensure that their products are free from contamination, making them more reliable and safer for consumers.

Separation of Lactic Acid Dimer (Meso-Lactide) from DL-lactic acid and D-lactic acid

Separation of Lactic Acid Dimer (Meso-Lactide) from DL-lactic acid and D-lactic acid is a common process in the production of polylactic acid. Meso-Lactide, also known as meso-2,3-dihydroxypropanoic acid, is used for industrial purposes due to its unique properties. It is produced when lactic acid dimerizes with itself via dehydration condensation.
The process of separating Meso-Lactide from DL and D forms of lactic acid is relatively straightforward. The most popular method used involves using a silica gel column chromatography technique to separate the compounds based on their different molecular weights. This method uses a gradient elution to slowly push the molecules through the column and allows for greater control over the separation process. Once separated, further purification can be done using other techniques such as distillation or recrystallization.
This method of separation offers a reliable way to obtain pure Meso-Lactide that meets industry standards. Furthermore, it provides an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional methods such as energy intensive processes that produce large amounts of waste materials.

Purification of Lactic Acid Dimer (Meso-Lactide)

The purification of lactic acid dimer (Meso-Lactide) from the DL and D forms is an important process in the production of polylactic acid. This can be done through a silica gel column chromatography technique, which uses a gradient elution to separate the molecules based on their molecular weight. Once separated, further purification can be done through methods such as distillation or recrystallization.
This method is both reliable and environmentally friendly, since it does not produce large amounts of waste materials or require energy intensive processes. In addition, it offers a high degree of control over the separation process and produces pure Meso-Lactide that meets industry standards.
Purification of lactic acid dimer (Meso-Lactide) is an important step in making polylactic acid and should be done with care to ensure quality results. The silica gel column chromatography technique provides a safe and effective way to do this while also being eco-friendly.
The purification of lactic acid dimer (Meso-Lactide) is an essential process that needs to be done with care and accuracy. Silica gel column chromatography is a reliable and eco-friendly way to do so, delivering pure Meso-Lactide that meets industry standards. Now, let’s take a look at determining the molecular weight of this compound through molecular weight analysis.

Molecular Weight Analysis

Molecular weight analysis is a technique used to determine the molecular weight of compounds. It is done by measuring the amount of material that can be separated from a sample, and then calculating the molecular weight based on this information. This method is useful for determining complex mixtures such as lactic acid dimer (Meso-Lactide). The results of this analysis provide valuable insight into the structure and properties of the compound, allowing for better understanding of its behavior in different conditions.
The main advantages of molecular weight analysis are its accuracy and sensitivity. It enables scientists to precisely measure even small amounts of material, providing detailed information about their composition and structure. In addition, it can be used with a variety of materials, making it an invaluable tool for research and development in many industries.
Molecular weight analysis is an essential technique for understanding the composition and properties of compounds such as lactic acid dimer (Meso-Lactide). Its accuracy and sensitivity make it an ideal choice for researchers who need detailed data about their samples.

Distillation Process to Increase Yield

Distillation is a process used to increase the yield of a specific compound from a mixture. It works by separating compounds based on their different boiling points. The desired compound is vaporized and then condensed back into its original form, which can be collected and reused. This method is commonly used in industries such as chemical, pharmaceutical, food and beverage production.
The main advantage of distillation is its high efficiency in extracting desired compounds from mixtures. It also allows for more precise control than other methods of separation, such as filtration or crystallization. In addition, it can be used to purify compounds that are not soluble in water or other solvents, such as lactic acid dimer (Meso-Lactide).
One disadvantage of distillation is that it requires special equipment and expertise to operate correctly. Another limitation is that it may not be suitable for certain applications due to the volatility of the compounds being separated or the amount of energy required for vaporization. Still, when done properly, distillation can provide an efficient way to increase yield from mixtures containing lactic acid dimer (Meso-Lactide).


Purify Meso Lactide is not a easy task, it requires special techniques and skilled personnel. The silica gel column chromatography technique is a reliable and environmental friendly way to purify Meso Lactide. Molecular weight analysis can be used to determine the molecular weight of compounds, providing valuable insight into their structure and properties.
General speaking, you can make it by yourself if you just use for experiment. If you need large volume, which need high purity for each batch, Maybe ECO is your best choice, we offer large quantities lactide (include L-LA, DL-LA and D-LA) with competitive price. Feel free to request testing report for your reference.
Beginner’s Guide to L-Lactide Material

Beginner’s Guide to L-Lactide Material

Beginner’s Guide to L-Lactide Material

From plastic to medicine, L-lactide is an incredibly versatile molecule with its uses ranging across a wide spectrum of industries. But what exactly is this mysterious compound, and why is it so important?

In this article, we will explore the structure, production, and unique benefits of L-lactide in more detail.

What is L-lactide?

L-lactide is a cyclic lactone that is derived from lactic acid. It has the molecular formula C3H6O2 and is an essential building block for synthesizing polylactic acid (PLA) plastics, which are widely used in the manufacturing industry. Additionally, L-lactide can be used as an intermediate for pharmaceuticals, medical devices, biopolymers, and other products.


The production of L-lactide involves several steps including hydrolysis of lactic acid to form monomeric lactic acid followed by dehydration to form L-lactide dimer. The dimer is then heated at elevated temperatures in order to produce the desired polymer chain length. This process allows manufacturers to tailor their products to specific applications or requirements.

L-lactide offers a range of benefits due its versatile nature and ability to be tailored made for various applications. It can also be used as a biodegradable plastic which makes it environmentally friendly when compared with other petroleum based plastics. Furthermore, it has excellent optical clarity and thermal stability making it ideal for use in packaging materials or medical devices where transparency and heat resistance are important considerations.

What is the structure of L- lactide?

L-lactide structure

The structure of L-lactide is a three-membered cyclic ester consisting of two carbon atoms and one oxygen atom. This particular lactone is derived from lactic acid, and its molecular formula is C3H6O2. The two carbon atoms are bonded together by a single oxygen atom, forming the ring structure that gives this compound its unique properties.

When polymerized, L-lactide forms polylactic acid (PLA), which is widely used in manufacturing due to its excellent optical clarity, thermal stability, and biodegradability. It is these properties that make L-lactide an ideal choice for products ranging from medical devices to packaging materials. Its versatility also makes it possible to tailor the product for specific applications or requirements, allowing manufacturers the flexibility they need to create the perfect product for their needs.

The ‘L’ in L-lactide stands for its chirality, or optical activity. All molecules that are able to rotate the plane of polarized light have a specific handedness, and are known as ‘chiral’ molecules. The ‘L’ prefix is used for one form of this molecule, which has a left-hand configuration.

This particular form is known as the lactic acid lactone (or L-lactide), and it is the most commonly used form due to its unique properties. It has excellent optical clarity, thermal stability and biodegradability – making it ideal for use in products from medical devices to packaging materials.

Additionally, its versatility allows manufacturers to tailor the product for specific applications or requirements. In conclusion, the ‘L’ in L-lactide stands for its chirality and represents an important component of this useful molecule’s many benefits and applications.

How is L-Lactide produced?

L-Lactide is a cyclic ester produced by chemical synthesis of lactic acid. The production process involves the use of a lactide monomer, which is typically obtained from lactic acid, as well as other chemicals such as acetic anhydride, dimethylformamide, and sodium hydroxide.

Lactide making process

The first step in the production of L-Lactide involves the hydrolysis of lactic acid to obtain the monomer. This is done by adding an appropriate base such as sodium hydroxide and then heating the mixture until it reaches its boiling point. Once this occurs, the reaction is allowed to cool before being filtered to separate out any solid material that may have been produced during the reaction.

The next step in L-Lactide production is condensation polymerization. This is done by combining two molecules of lactide together with a catalyst such as acetic anhydride or dimethylformamide (DMF). The reaction produces a diol intermediate that can then be further reacted with additional catalysts and/or solvents in order to produce different forms of L-Lactide.

Finally, L-Lactide can be purified using a variety of methods including distillation and crystallization. In addition, other substances are often added during purification in order to improve the stability and performance of the final product. After all these steps are complete, L-Lactide can be used for various commercial applications including medical devices, plastics manufacturing, and textiles production.

L-lactide vs D-lactide: What’s the difference?

type of lactide structure

L-lactide and D-lactide are powerful, versatile polymers that are used in a variety of applications. However, there are some differences between them that should be considered.

The most notable difference between L-lactide and D-lactide is their chemical structure. L-lactide is a linear polymer with an odd number of carbon atoms, while D-lactide has a cyclic structure with an even number of carbon atoms. This difference in structure results in different physical properties for the two materials; for example, L-lactide has a lower melting point than D-lactide.

Another important difference between the two materials is their reactivity. Due to its linear structure, L-lactide can be easily reacted with other molecules to form various products such as copolymers and plasticizers. On the other hand, due to its cyclic structure, D-lactide is relatively unreactive and not suitable for use in these types of applications.

Overall, both L-lactide and D-lactide are important polymers materials with a variety of applications. Depending on the desired outcome, it is important to understand the differences between them in order to select the right one for your needs. Stay tuned for more information on the benefits of L-lactide!

L-lactide is an important, versatile linear polymer that has a variety of applications. It has a low melting point and can be easily reacted with other molecules to form a wide range of products. As such, it is widely used in the production of copolymers and plasticizers.

Moreover, L-lactide is also used in the manufacture of medical devices such as sutures and implants because it is biocompatible and non-immunogenic. These properties make it an ideal material for these types of applications.

In addition, L-lactide has excellent mechanical properties such as strength, toughness and flexibility which make it suitable for use in automotive parts, packaging materials and consumer products. The material is also resistant to UV radiation and various chemicals which makes it an ideal choice for outdoor applications.

Overall, there are many advantages to using L-lactide in different industries due to its versatility, low cost and ease of processing. It is important to understand the benefits of this powerful polymer before selecting it for your specific application needs.


1. Is L-lactide a liquid?

Lactide is not a liquid, but rather a white crystalline solid with a melting point of 162-164°C. It has an odorless and slightly bitter taste.

Lactide can be produced through polymerization of lactic acid and the resulting ring-opening polymerization forms polylactide resin. These polylactide resins have been used in many chemical applications, including biodegradable plastics, drug delivery systems, and biomedical implants.

2. Is L-lactide levorotatory or dextrorotatory?

L-lactide is a levorotatory compound, which means it will rotate the plane of polarized light to the left. This makes it a different compound than its dextrorotatory counterpart D-lactide which will rotate the plane of polarized light to the right.

L-Lactide can be produced through polymerization and is used in several medical products as well as in other consumer product applications.

3. Is L-Lactide a natural or synthetic material?

L-Lactide is a synthetic material. It is made from petroleum sources, unlike natural materials which are formed naturally in the environment.

L-Lactide is an important component of polylactic acid or PLA, which is widely used in 3D printing and biodegradable plastics manufacturing. It has a low toxicity and its monomers are relatively easy to obtain and handle, which makes it a popular choice for manufacturers.

4. Does L-Lactide degrade over time?

L-Lactide is a hydrolyzable ester and it is known to degrade over time. Its main degradation pathway is hydrolysis, which can be accelerated by the presence of moisture, heat, light and oxygen in the environment. In addition, L-Lactide can be degraded by enzymes found in living organisms, leading to its eventual breakdown.

As a result, L-Lactide products must be stored properly in dry conditions and away from direct sunlight to prevent its premature degradation.

5. Are there any health hazards associated with L-Lactide?

Yes, there are health hazards associated with L-Lactide. Inhalation of the dust can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract. There is also evidence that ingestion or inhalation of high concentrations may cause nausea, vomiting, headache and dizziness. Chronic exposure through dermal contact may lead to sensitized skin reactions such as dermatitis.

Long-term effects from over-exposure could include central nervous system depression, organ damage and cancer due to its toxicity. It is important for those handling this substance to use protective gear and work in a ventilated area when possible in order to reduce inhalation risk.

6. How is L-Lactide used in the pharmaceutical industry?

L-Lactide is a monomer used to produce polylactic acid (PLA), which is a biodegradable thermoplastic that has many uses in the pharmaceutical industry. These include drug delivery systems for controlled release of active ingredients, protective coatings on tablets and capsules, containers used for storage and transport of oral medications and diagnostic kits, medical instruments, implants or even transdermal absorption preparations such as patches and gels.

Additionally, L-Lactide can be used to modify existing drug carriers or create new ones from scratch. As such, the pharmaceutical industry relies heavily on L-Lactide for its versatile applications.

7. What are the potential adverse effects of using L-Lactide in commercial products?

L-Lactide is a widely used biopolymer that has some adverse environmental effects. Its production generates pollutants such as formaldehyde and sulfuric acid, which can then contaminate surface water and ground water resources.

L-Lactide is considered to be a hazardous waste material due to its toxic properties, so proper disposal of these materials is required in order to prevent further contamination and health risks. Furthermore, when degraded in the environment by bacterial or fungal decay, toxic intermediates and end products are produced, thus placing increased pressure on valuable environmental resources.

8. How does L-Lactide interact with other chemicals or substances?

L-Lactide is a monomer that has the capability to form polymers. It is used in a variety of industrial and biomedical applications due to its hydrophilic nature and reaction with other organic compounds.

L-Lactide can interact with various other chemicals, such as esters, surfactants, acids, amines, and ketones to produce copolymers products with unique characteristics. In addition, it can be blended with other substances or chemicals to obtain desired physical and chemical properties for producing new materials or products.

9. Can L-Lactide be recycled?

Yes, L-Lactide can be recycled. Some of the methods used to recycle it include repolymerization, chemical processes such as hydrolysis or depolymerization, and catalytic hydrogenation.

Repolymerization is a way to break down polymer chains into monomers and recombine them into polymers. Chemical processes such as hydrolysis and depolymerization can also be used to recycle L-Lactide by breaking down polymeric material into linear pieces before reassembling them into homopolymers or copolymers. Finally, catalytic hydrogenation can convert lactide monomers into lactic acid oligomers which can then be used as an additive in various applications.


L-lactide is a versatile and reliable polymer with a variety of applications. It has low melting point, excellent mechanical properties, UV radiation resistance and biocompatibility. All these features make it an ideal choice in many industries such as automotive, medical, packaging and consumer products.

Furthermore, its low cost and ease of processing make it attractive to manufacturers looking for cost-effective solutions. In summary, L-lactide is a powerful polymer that can be used in a wide range of applications due to its versatility and reliability.

How to Grind up PLLA into Powder

How to Grind up PLLA into Powder

How to Grind up PLLA into Powder

If you grind PLLA material like other solid material, can you get the small powder in the end?

Anyone can grind PLLA polymer, either manual or use equipment. But not everyone can create one that people need?

In this post, you’ll learn how to grind up PLLA material into small powder and the main issue in the processing.

Let’s get start.

Why Do You Need PLLA Powder?

Polylactic acid (PLLA) is an L-lactide of the word-famous degradable polymer derived from lactic acid — PLLA. It’s made of renewable, organic resources, like corn, sugar, beets, and similar products that are rich in starch.

The interesting thing about PLLA is that it has superior material properties that outperform even some petroleum-based products. Some important characteristics include:

PLLA powder
  • Compatible with a variety of coatings, inks, and adhesives.
  • Effective flavor and aroma barrier.
  • Good weight-to-strength ratio.
  • Environment friendly waste material, if disposed of correctly.
  • Suitable for a variety of applications.
  • Comes with multiple composite and color options.
  • Can be solvent welded.
  • Has a high molecular weight and crystallinity.

PLLA is a promising material that can be used for healthcare purposes, such as regenerative medicine or cell engineering. It’s used for cardiovascular implants and dental niches as well due to its ability to degrade under physiological conditions.

Some pharmaceutical manufacturers utilize PLLA as the material for drug carriers. Cosmetology companies involve PLLA in the production of the injectable agents are used for noninvasive facial enhancement

PLLA may be used for food purposes, such as bio-degradable containers for products that do not require lengthy transporting and storing. It’s also suitable for food and beverage primary, sustainable packaging. 

PLLA often comes in the form of powder or in blocks of varying sizes. But most users love to grind sub-quality parts to powder with precise particle sizes themselves. For example, to dispose of components. Or to mix PLLA with other biodegradable polymers to get a material with a unique combination of properties.

Issue with Grind with PLLA Material

Grinding PLLA is nothing like turning any other material into powder. The reason is a low glass transition temperature (about 60°C) that doesn’t allow for high-end grinding with mechanical methods. The friction of the material with the cutter simply makes PLLA melt, which is completely unsuitable for high-end grinding. 

In most cases, it’s possible to obtain the PLLA pellets from sub-quality PLLA parts. Yet, pellets are unsuitable for mixing with other filaments. Chemical methods for dissolving PLLA and drying the solution till the powder is obtained are also not quite a solution. 

How to Grind up PLLA Polymer

low temperature grinding machine

The way to grind PLLA polymer is called low-temperature grinding. Its working principle is cutting the materials under lowered temperatures. This prevents PLLA from melting in the process. 

The approach here is complex. First, you should start with pre-cooling and even pre-freezing PLLA-based parts or pellets. Vary the conditions depending on the size of the components and the particle size needed. In the best-case scenario, the temperature of about 5°C of a grounded sample is enough for a process to be executed successfully.

However, you may want to freeze your components below zero, but only if the supplier of your PLLA claims that the raw material will restore its characteristics after temperature stabilizing.

Another good tip is to use cold water to cool your cutter down during the grinding. You may need to stop grinding and cool the cutter down multiple times for the best outcomes.

An unusual but highly effective way to safely cool your PLLA-based parts down and grind them is to add dry ice to the container in which you grind your components. This way helps to lower the temperature of grinding pretty much without any fuss or undesired consequences. Dry ice doesn’t turn into liquid and just vaporizes. It should not affect the characteristics of your parts much.

Yet, you should be aware that dry ice is toxic to a certain extent. Don’t use PLLA powder obtained with the help of it for the production of food containers or similar items.


PLLA is a convenient, biodegradable material that has excellent properties. It suits medical, food, cosmetology, dental, and manufacturing purposes well. However, it’s quite an issue to grind PLLA into powder because of its low melting point.

Yet, you may utilize low temperature grinding techniques to turn sub-quality PLLA parts or pellets into powder with any fraction you desire. Stick with pre-cooling, freezing, water-cooling, or mixing PLLA with dry ice to get high-quality PLLA powder.

As the manufacturer of PLLA, PDLLA material, we have cooperated with many grinding companies. Feel free to contact us if you need PLLA grinding service.

Nanoparticles: A Comprehensive Guide For 2023

Nanoparticles: A Comprehensive Guide For 2023

Nanoparticles : A Comprehensive Guide For 2023

Generally speaking, nanoparticles refer to ultra-fine particles that range in size between 1 to 100 nanometers in diameter. The term can also apply to objects that fall within the scope range in only two directions: fibers and tubes.

Nanoparticles can either be naturally occurring or produced from manufacturing processes.

nanoparticles size

The size of nanoparticles makes them distinct from both bulk materials and particles on the molecular scale. Due to their unique properties, nanoparticles can exhibit surprising characteristics physically, chemically, and optically. Objects in the nanoscale can also display quantum mechanics effects.

Nanoparticles have unique properties that have made them valuable in various fields, including medicine, engineering, optics, and environmental science.

With the wealth of applications of nanoparticles, it has become one of the most studied areas of science and research. It has also created a branch of manufacturing concerned with the production of nanoparticles, aptly called nanotechnology.

History of nanoparticles

Short history of nanotechnology

Although the study of nanoparticles came about because of modern science, there is evidence of the use of nanoparticles by ancient civilizations. Since some nanoparticles are naturally occurring, they have used by artisans to adorn pottery back in ninth-century Mesopotamia. This practice carried on during the Middle Ages using silver and copper nanoparticles to give a characteristic luster to ceramic pottery.

Richard Feynman is considered the father of modern nanotechnology. In 1959, during a meeting of the American Physical Society, Feynman proposed using machines to construct progressively smaller devices until they reached the molecular scale. This was the premise of the famous lecture “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom” and caught the interest of many scientists in a potentially new field of research.

The term “nanotechnology” only came about 15 years later when Norio Taniguchi used it in a paper published at a 1974 conference. In his study, Taniguchi defined nanotechnology as manipulating a material via various methods at the nanometer scale.

Unaware of Taniguchi’s work, Eric Drexler independently developed his concept of nanotechnology and published it in a book called “Engines of Creations: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology” in 1986. In his book, Drexler described the idea of “molecular manufacturing” or machines in the nanoscale creating copies of themselves. He then expounded on the concept in his Ph.D. thesis, “Molecular Machinery and Manufacturing with Applications to Computation.”

In 1981, physicists Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer of the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory developed the Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM). A new type of microscope, the STM allowed the scientists to capture the first image taken at the atomic level. The same technology was also used to manipulate atoms and molecules by “tunneling” current through the microscope’s tip to break or create chemical bonds.

Almost simultaneously, scientists Robert Curl, Richard Smalley, and Harold Kroto discovered the foundations of what we now know as carbon-based nanomaterials. By evaporating graphite in an inert atmosphere, the scientists found that carbon formed very stable spheres of C60 or C70 compounds. These were called fullerenes and buckyballs. A few years later, another group of scientists manipulated these compounds to form carbon nanotubes which can then used as composite fibers.

Nanoscience has branched out several applications, such as biomedicine, molecular biology, engineering, and computer science. Emphasizing how vital nanoscience as a field of research is, President George W. Bush signed into law the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act in 2003. This launched the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), which aimed to advance world-class nanotechnology research thru a coordinated effort by federal agencies and departments in the US.

Between 2001 and 2004, over sixty countries undertook government-sponsored research programs focusing on nanotechnology. This initiative was joined by large corporations such as Samsung, Canon, Toshiba, and IBM. There has also been a significant uptick of research publications on the topic.

Properties of nanoparticles

Any matter only needs to have at least one external dimension in the range of 1 to 100 nanometers to be considered a nanoparticle. All other characteristics and unique properties of nanoparticles come as a consequence of this particle size.

Very high specific surface area

Due to their size, nanoparticles can provide a vast surface area normalized to volume compared to any bulk material. This has made nanoparticles a very effective delivery mechanism for medicine, as they can be absorbed by the body rapidly.

The high specific surface area of nanoparticles has also proven revolutionary in the design of photovoltaic cells for solar energy production.

High hardness

Compared to their component bulk material, nanoparticles are significantly more rigid because of the high internal stress caused by surface stresses in the nanoparticles. The lack of void spaces in the nanoparticles also reduces the probability of vacancy migration. The effect is a lower degree of plastic deformation and a corresponding reduction in flexibility and malleability

Low melting temperature

Another consequence of the increased specific surface area of nanoparticles is that they have a much lower melting temperature than their equivalent bulk material. For instance, silver nanoparticles can melt at 112 degrees C compared to the standard melting point of silver at 962 degrees C.

Highly mobile

The highly mobile nature of nanoparticles in their free state makes them especially useful in applications that involve diffusion.

Nanoparticles can achieve homogenous equilibrium very quickly concerning heat or other molecules and ions. Elevated temperatures can further enhance the diffusion capability of nanoparticles.

Difficult to apply as coating

There are several practical applications of nanoparticles as the coating. Common examples include the application of graphene in electronic components and carbon nanotubes in photovoltaic receptors. Due to the low surface energy, applying nanoparticles as a coating is difficult. It means that special techniques are needed to coat any object in nanoparticles.

A common approach is the Langmuir-Blodgett method. The nanoparticles are compressed within air-water interphase in this method, where their packing density significantly increased. The substrate is then dipped (under controlled speed and temperate) into the nanoparticles’ solution to create the coating.

Quantum effects

Nanoparticles are small enough to exhibit the effects of quantum mechanics. This means that the properties of nanoparticles are restricted to quantized or discrete values and may not be described or predicted based on our knowledge of classical physics.

Quantum mechanics can explain the drastic changes in the behavior of nanoparticles compared to their bulk material counterparts. For instance, natural insulators can have conductive nanoparticles. Opaque substances like copper also become transparent when they make as nanoparticles. The quantum effects can alter by changes in the sub-atomic energy levels of electrons.

How to make nanoparticles

There are two primary strategies in producing nanoparticles – the so-called ‘top down’ and ‘bottom up’ methods. The top-down approach implies the breakdown of bulk material to smaller and smaller particles until the nanoscale qualification is satisfied. In contrast, the bottom-up method chemical reaction binds atoms and molecules together.

The choice of which method to use depends on the desired properties of the nanoparticles.

The ‘top-down’ process

Most top-down processes for nanoparticle production are physical and involve friable materials. It is the typical process for producing ceramic or metallic nanoparticles. They use high-energy ball mills with steel or carbide-based grinding media, then crush bulk material to create nanoparticles.

The disadvantage of the physical method is that it is very energy-intensive and has poor particle size control. For instance, nanoparticles produced thru milling often have a broad range of particle sizes. However, this method is suitable for preserving the nanostructure in applications that require good interconnection between the particles, as in electronic circuitry.

Some chemical methods take the top-down approach. In breaking down cellulosic biopolymers, mechanical milling is combined with the enzymatic breakdown or acid-based hydrolysis. The result of this process is the production of fibrous nanoparticles with anisotropic properties.

Carbon nanoparticles also can be produced from the combustion or pyrolysis of fuel. While this reaction typically has carbon agglomerates, you can control the particle size by forcing the power through a narrow orifice at high pressure before combustion or pyrolysis occurs.

Erosion by wind and water provides the driving force of the naturally occurring top-down production of nanoparticles. Through attrition, rocks are broken down into particles small enough to form clays. They also provide the mechanism for the distribution of plant and microorganism matter.

The ‘bottom-up’ process

The ‘bottom-up’ approach physicochemical processes that take advantage of the self-assembly behavior of atoms and molecules. These methods provide better particle size and shape control but usually require highly controlled conditions.

The wet chemistry describes how do compounds react together to form insoluble precipitates. It is a standard method to produce metallic nanoparticles from metal salts. By adding a precipitating agent to the solution, the nanoparticles can induce precipitation in the process.

The advantage of this method is that it allows for precise control of particle size and the particle’s crystal structure and size distribution. Several variables, such as the solution’s temperature and pH, can be altered based on the kinetics of the reaction. Other metals and organic dyes can also be introduced to dope the nanoparticles after they have already formed.

Once the nanoparticles have formed, they can recover through filtration, evaporation, centrifugation, and other separation methods. They can deposit to a surface through dipping, coating, or electrolysis.

It’s also possible for chemical reactions that produce nanoparticles to take place in the gas phase. You can do this by simply vaporizing the reactants and allowing the products from the chemical reaction to deposit as nanoparticles. There are also special flame reactors, laser reactors, and plasma reactors to provide the energy needed for a chemical reaction to proceed.

The sol-gel process is a particular type of method that produces porous nanostructures. The base material here is a dispersion of nanoparticles called the ‘sol.’ The reaction proceeds after adding catalysts and with pH and temperature control. Through hydrolysis, the nanoparticles from three-dimensional cross-links, creating a gel. This porous material can then be processed to produce coatings, fibers, or highly dense ceramic products.

What are the uses and applications of nanoparticles?

Nanoparticle applications in materials

Nanoparticles application in material

The use of nanoparticles in material science has rapidly grown during the 21st century. Nanoparticles are often added to usual materials like plastics and rubber to enhance their properties. These so-called nanocomposite materials are now quite common in food packaging, construction, and batteries, among other applications.

One of the most common examples of nanocomposite materials is in vulcanized rubber. By combining natural rubber with sulfur and silica or carbon black nanoparticles, rubber gains enhanced mechanical and electrical properties.

A similar approach is taken in designing nanocomposite-based polymers that are not derived from petroleum sources. These biopolymers come from natural sources of cellulose or starch and are biodegradable.

Nanoparticle technology can use to enhance the antimicrobial properties of standard plastics for food packaging. These nanoparticles are typically made of silver or copper, either of which inhibits microbial growth. You can apply the same treatment to paints for areas that need antimicrobial protection, such as industrial kitchens and hospital operating rooms.

The discovery of graphene via cross-linking of carbon nanoparticles has proven to be revolutionary for electronics. Graphene provides a method for storing electrical charge and transmission of current without the drawbacks of using metallic materials. The large specific surface area of nanostructures has proven to be beneficial for this particular purpose.

Nanotechnology has paved the way for a new class of ceramics. Instead of the brittle old-fashioned ceramics, we now have ceramics infused with nanoparticles. Ceramic nanoparticles can have carbides, carbonates, and metals such as titanium. Quite surprisingly, the most common use of ceramic nanoparticles is as a drug delivery agent.

The quantum effect of nanoparticles is greatly utilized in LED lights and coatings for greenhouses. Nanoparticles of inorganic phosphor can absorb sunlight and convert it into different wavelengths. We now have LED lights of different colors and greenhouse coatings that convert light to the optimal wavelength for plant growth through this mechanism.

Nanoparticle applications in medicine

nanotechnology in medicine

Nanoparticles have been well-studied as alternative means for drug delivery. The high surface area of nanoparticles allows for rapid absorption of the medicine into the body’s cell membranes. This benefit also extends to topical treatment, including ultraviolet-blocking sunblock.

The size of nanoparticles has also made them a valuable diagnostic tool. In the field of medical imaging, iodine-based liposomal nanoparticles can help in identifying cancer-related lesions. A relatively new technique is photoacoustic imaging which uses gold nanoparticles as contrast agents of stem cells.

Targeted medication is another area that is heavily explored as a field of application for nanoparticles. The idea is to deliver medicine using a nanostructure that can anchor at targeted sites, allowing for slow and sustained drug delivery. There is massive potential in using nanostructure-embedded medicine that patients can inhale to treat conditions associated with the brain, such as Alzheimer’s Disease.

Nanoparticles can also be used to deliver agents such as heat and light to specific types of cells. For instance, the nanoparticles can be engineered to target cancer cells only. This potential treatment will avoid damaging healthy cells while providing effective treatment. Stem cells can also be delivered to help in the tissue repair of specific internal organs.

The uptake of nanoparticles in endothelial cells is a significant research area. Because of the crucial role that endothelial cells play as permeable barriers to blood vessels. Penetrating endothelial cells allows for better drug delivery through blood flow. Promising research on this topic makes use of a polymer nanoparticle that contains bovine serum albumin as a model protein for biocompatibility. With good uptake, the study showed how nanoparticles could be used for localized delivery of therapeutic agents.

Other more novel applications of nanoparticles are being researched at the Chase Western Reserve University and the University of Wisconsin. Polymer nanoparticles applied to an open wound can act as synthetic platelets, allowing for near-instant closing of injuries and reduction of blood loss. Nanogenerators have also been explored for delivering electrical pulses to an open wound to achieve the same purpose.

Tissue engineering refers to the field of the growth of new tissues and organs. It typically starts from an implanted manifold or cell base. Nanoparticles come in handy in the design of these cell manifolds. Biocompatible nanoparticles, such as calcium hydroxyapatite or titanium dioxide, promote cell proliferation and easily diffuse across membranes. Nanoparticles have also been shown to provide mechanical reinforcement and improve the electrical properties of these tissue scaffolds.

Nanoparticle applications in biology


Aside from medical treatment, nanoparticles have also become valuable tools for the study of biology. Nanoparticles are about the size of proteins. It makes them ideal for tagging or labeling. Nanoparticles with unique magnetic or optical properties are typically used for these applications.

Examples of the use of nanoparticles for biological studies include fluorescent signaling, contrast enhancement of MRI, detection of proteins, and analysis of DNA structures. For instance, the Mirkin group has developed a bio-barcode method for DNA detection using gold nanoparticles. This can help identify the susceptibility of the specimen to diseases such as certain cancers and Alzheimer’s disease.

In biological research, nanoparticles can be used to separate and isolate cells from complex mixtures. A concrete example of this is in the study of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) through the use of magnetic nanoparticles. An understanding of CTCs can be beneficial in the prognosis of breast and prostate cancers. This technique has been developed as the CellSearch device – the only FDA-approved test for studying CTCs.

Nanoparticle technology has been critical in helping researchers understand complex cell functions and molecular processes. Although lots of work has already been done, it is still a relatively young research field, and there is still a lot of room for more innovative applications.

Potentially harmful effects of nanoparticles

Not all nanoparticles are beneficial. At this point, we know that standard processes such as combustion can produce nanoparticles. That means that nanoparticles can be created from daily manufacturing processes such as smoking, combustion of fuel in cars, and even cooking. When inhaled, these nanoparticles can cause lung damage, respiratory conditions, genetic mutation, and other health effects.

Some nanoparticles, such as titanium dioxide (found in some food additives), have also been shown to disrupt gut flora when ingested. This can cause bowel inflammation and disruption of normal digestive function.

Nanoparticles can be particularly problematic because of how easily they can be absorbed by cells. At least one clinical trial has shown that inhaled nanoparticles can be absorbed by cell membranes and blood cells and eventually find their way to internal organs such as the liver or the heart. Animals are also susceptible to this, thus posing the danger of bioaccumulation in higher-ordered predators.

Knowledge of the adverse effects of nanoparticles on human health has made it imperative for workers to wear respiratory protection when working near or with them. There have also been campaigns to inform the general public about the effects of nanoparticles. However, there is no detailed study yet on the actual levels of regular exposure of humans to nanoparticles. This is a field of study that will undoubtedly receive more attention as nanoparticle use becomes more widespread.

Trends and Evolution of Thread Lifting

Trends and Evolution of Thread Lifting

Trends and Evolution of Thread Lifting

Maintaining the youthful look in our skin gets trickier with age. It’s one of the harsh realities of life. That’s why cosmetic surgery has been all the rave in recent years.

People have picked up on a new growing trend of non-invasive procedures. One of the most notable today is Thread Lifting. This procedure can be your next best solution to tighten those wrinkles and droopy cheeks.

Join me as we dive deep into this cosmetics phenomenon. We’ll explore everything you need to know about Thread Lifting and determine if it’s worth the shot.

Trends and Evolution of Thread Lifting

What Is Thread Lift?

A Thread Lift is a less-invasive cosmetics procedure that’s an alternative to facelift surgery. Also called “suture lift,” this procedure uses medical-grade sutures to lift and tighten the skin on the face or any parts of the body.

Thread Lifting is temporary and would only last for about one to three years. It is an alternative solution for people who can’t physically handle a surgical facelift.

It includes people with underlying medical conditions. It’s also for those who want a safer alternative and avoid risks that come with going under the knife.

How Does Thread Lifting Work


Source from hinsdaleveinlaser

The whole process is simple. The procedure involves using thin and dissolvable sutures to pull and tighten your skin.

The needle or cannula used is thin. Nearly invisible and painless, like barbs that hold your skin in place. It keeps the threads a firm grip on the underlying tissue and muscles to pull your skin tight.

Once the threading process begins, the healing process responds. Collagen will produce on the targeted area and put more volume in your skin. It helps restore your skin’s suppleness and elasticity.

Thread Lift Procedure

Thread lift procedures may differ. It depends on the areas you will target in your thread lift. However, here’s the step-by-step process to give you a general overview of the procedure.

1. Preparation: Your Doctor will ask you to sit on the recliner before applying alcohol and topical anesthetic to the targeted area of your skin.

2. Suturing: A thin needle with equally thin threads will insert under your skin. The suturing process would take around thirty to forty-five minutes.

3. Removal: After the suturing process, they will take out the needle. You might feel a gentle pull or pressure under your skin, leaving it tight.

4. Completion: Once everything is over, your procedure is complete! You can go home and rest for a few days.

Thread Lifting: Pros & Cons


1. It’s a Quick Procedure

Believe it or not, Thread Lifting is a quick and easy procedure. Often pegged as the “Lunchtime Lift,” a regular thread lift procedure wouldn’t take more than an hour.

2. Less-Invasive

The process of thread lifting is less invasive than a conventional facelift.
It’s not messy. There’s not much need for any prodding or deep cutting. It’s a procedure that doesn’t require much effort.

Thread lifting only uses medical-grade sutures with fine dissolvable threads. While it may cause some discomfort to some, it isn’t relatively painful.

3. Has Rejuvenating Properties

Thread Lifting is also widely popular for its rejuvenating effect on the skin.
A study conducted in 2014 shows the efficacy of thread lifting rejuvenation. Its rejuvenating effects on the skin were apparent.
The researchers found that thread lifting is a safe and effective procedure for patients in need of a facelift.

4. Promotes Collagen Production

Collagen is a vital component of our skin. It’s essential in keeping the condition of the skin healthy and supple.

Collagen production decreases as we age. The process of thread lifting helps stimulate collagen production on the skin.

Some even use specialized medical-sutures that target the stimulation of collagen that forms around the thread.

5. Short Recovery Period

A regular facelift would take patients anywhere from one or three months to fully recover. A thread lift has a shorter recovery period.

Patients who underwent a thread lift may find some mild discomfort at the beginning. It includes some initial swelling or redness.
However, it would all settle after a couple of days. It won’t take a week or more to recover.

6. More Affordable Than A Conventional Face Lift

Since thread lifting is a simple procedure, it’s more affordable compared to a conventional facelift.
General anesthetics aren’t required either. It makes this procedure even more accessible to the public with its price range.

7. Lower Risk Of Complications

Traditional facelift surgeries come with all sorts of risks and probable complications.
Thread lifting would spare people from the risk of deep scarring or infection that often happens in conventional cosmetic surgeries.

It doesn’t mean that thread lifting is a hundred percent safe either. However, it’s the safest alternative you can get compared to traditional facelift surgery.


1. It’s Temporary

No matter how you look at it, getting a thread lift isn’t a one-way ticket for the long-haul. It also says the same for any cosmetic procedure.

However, conventional facelifts are more likely to give long-lasting results. Up to a decade at most.
A thread lift is temporary. It would only last for around one to three years. Besides, it won’t take much effort from patients to have a repeat thread lift procedure.

2. It’s Not For Everyone

While anyone above legal age can undertake this procedure, it’s best to note that it might not meet the ideal look everyone has in mind.

Since thread lifts are touch-ups, the improvements would be more subtle. And while many see this as an advantage, it would do poorly for people with severe cases of loose skin.

Types Of Threads

Places threads  lift treat

There are three types of threads used for thread lifting:

1. Mono Thread
Mono threads are smooth barb-less threads. It is mostly used on the under eyes, forehead, and neck to eliminate sagginess.

Mono threads are often used on the face and require an anchoring point. It has a unique way of boosting collagen formation around the mono thread.

It makes a decent thread for skin tightening and promoting collagen production. However, it’s not as effective in generating an actual “lift” to the face.

2. Screw or Tornado Thread
Screw or Tornado threads are a great volumizer in sunken-areas around the skin. They are formed usually with one or two threads intertwined together around the needle.

Tornado threads are also more effective in face lifting since the intertwined singular threads have a stronger hold.

3. Cog Thread
Cog threads are similar to mono threads. However, unlike mono threads, they have barbs and don’t require anchoring points.

The barb of the cog thread is either molded or cut. Collagen tends to form around both the barbs and threads.

It supports the structure and lifts the sagging tissues of the skin. It’s an ideal thread for lifting and sculpting the jawline.

Material Of Thread Lift

1. PDO

  • Biodegradation Period: 6 – 8 months.
  • Safety: High
  • Discomfort: Slight
  • Flexibility: Average
  • Hydrolytic Resolution: Average

Polydioxanone or PDO is an absorbable polymer. The material is durable and quite flexible and has a less-invasive lifting effect.

Its ability to rebuild tissue and induce collagen formation which makes it a popular material used for suture surgeries. It will take six months before the PDO threads are dissolved completely and absorbed into the skin. Once absorbed into the skin, it will continue to aid in boosting collagen production until 12 months.

PDO threads give your skin a subtle lift. It’s efficient in reducing wrinkles and fine lines in targeted areas. They are suitable material for individuals who want to delay the effects of aging and treat saggy skin.


  • Biodegradation Period: 14 – 18 months.
  • Safety: High
  • Discomfort: Strong
  • Flexibility: Low
  • Hydrolytic Resolution: Average

Poly-Lactic Acid or PLLA is another popular material used for surgical sutures. PLLA contains all-natural components. Once the material dissolves, it breaks down into glucose, carbon dioxide, lactate, and water.

PLLA is also an alternative material for fillers. Its ability to stimulate both Type 1 and Type 2 collagen makes it more efficient in restoring the skin’s natural volume. It also provides a more effective collagen-inducing effect compared to PDO. Unlike PDO, PPLA threads barely cause an inflammatory reaction to the skin.

Since the material lasts longer, it promotes long-term benefits in restoring the skin to its youthful glow.

3. PCL

  • Biodegradation Period: 16 – 24 months.
  • Safety: High
  • Discomfort: No Discomfort
  • Flexibility: High
  • Hydrolytic Resolution: High

Polycaprolactone or PCL are absorbable and long-lasting sutures used for thread lifting. PCL is both flexible and durable. While PCL isn’t as popular as PDO and PPLA, the material is longer-lasting. The chemical bonds of PCL are very durable and quite complex. They have a slower degradation rate and can last more than two years.

PCL is also known to be more effective in boosting collagen production. It can increase the production of hyaluronic acid and type one and type two collagen.

Once it dissolves, its effects will last up to a year. It’s an ideal material for reaping the long-term benefits of thread lifting.

How Much Does A Thread Lift Cost

While it is considered cheaper than a traditional facelift procedure, it still has a hefty price point. The average cost of thread lift is around $2,250.00 on average. It can even range up to $6000.00. It depends on the entire scope of the procedure since the treatment is customizable.

Thread lifting isn’t covered by insurance since it is considered an elective cosmetic procedure.

You need to identify the factors that can affect the cost of your thread lift:

  • Your provider’s level of service and expertise
  • The location of your provider
  • The size or number of areas treated.

How Long Does Thread Lift Last

Similar to other cosmetic procedures, a thread lift is temporary. The longevity of thread lifts heavily relies on the materials used in the procedure. Generally, a thread lift can only last for around one to three years, while a traditional facelift surgery lasts for ten years.

However, thread lift procedures are quick and easy. Maintenance wouldn’t be an issue. People who do get the treatment have no problem going for a repeat session.

In most cases, doctors encourage their patients for a repeat session every six to twelve months.

Thread Lift Complications

While thread lifting is the safer alternative for facelifts, it’s vital to note that there are still risks involved:

1. Discomfort
While thread lifting is less-invasive than facelifts, it can still cause some discomfort; both during and after the procedure.

2. Post-procedural Swelling, Bruising & Soreness
It’s normal to have a bit of swelling or mild soreness after the procedure.

However, how the body reacts to the procedure differs from person to person. So it might be worse and even uncomfortable to some.

3. Infection
Infection can still occur. More likely if you had your thread lift done by someone who is not a professional.

An infection will most likely happen if the sutures used aren’t sterile.

It’s best to choose your provider carefully for your safety.

4. Hematoma
A hematoma occurs when the walls of your blood vessels become damaged by an inexperienced practitioner.

It would cause blood to seep out around the area during the procedure. It is rare for the hematoma to occur. But it can still happen.

5. Asymmetry of the Face
Facial asymmetry can most likely happen after a thread lift.

It can be due to an insufficient lift on one side, anesthetic, or facial asymmetry that could already be inherent.

A more common irregularity is in the oral angle areas where a “sunken cheek” might occur.

Do’s and Dont’s After Thread Lift

1. Protect Your Skin
Since your skin is most likely sensitive from your procedure, an extra layer of protection is needed. You can use a sunscreen that’s recommended by your dermatologist.

Keep in mind and not rub it in on your face. Apply it gently on your skin. As much as possible, try to avoid direct exposure to sunlight.

2. Avoid Extreme Temperatures
Try to avoid exposing your newly rejuvenated skin to harsh or extreme temperatures. It’s simply not allowed. Doing so can compromise your treatment and your healing process.

3. Follow Up With Your Doctor
It’s vital to keep tabs on your doctor after the procedure.

You can reach out as early as a week after your procedure. Your doctor will assess the progress of your treatment.

4. Don’t Apply Pressure On Your Face
The last thing you’d want out of your procedure is to compromise your treatment by accidentally sleeping on your face.

Try to get used to sleeping on your back before your thread lift. You can also build a pillow fort on your sides to prevent the toss and turns you might do in your sleep.

5. Don’t Put Make-up or Other Cosmetic Products
In the first 12 hours after your procedure, try not to wear make-up or any product on your face. It could potentially damage your skin.

Your skin is sensitive after the treatment. Putting products on your face would only cause unwanted irritation.

6. Don’t Smoke or Drink Alcohol
Try to avoid doing vices such as smoking or drinking after your treatment.

Both can elevate your blood pressure. High blood pressure would compromise the flow of the nutrients your skin needs during the healing process.

7. Don’t Engage in Any Workouts Yet
During post-procedure, you should avoid doing any intense workouts.

Exercise has a way of elevating your blood pressure. Try to keep your activity level to low-impact activities, like walking.


Thread Lifting can be the best solution for chasing the fine lines and wrinkles away. Its subtle health-boosting changes make it a worthy procedure to try.

It’s important to remember that there are still limitations to this procedure. It can’t do any drastic changes to your face the way a traditional facelift can.

However, not many people can handle invasive procedures that are both risky and expensive. It has opened a door for people who want a safer and convenient way to improve their skin. It is a genuinely good investment for your health and well-being.

The Future of Organ Transplants: Bioprinting, Stem Cells and More

The Future of Organ Transplants: Bioprinting, Stem Cells and More

The Future of Organ Transplants: Bioprinting, Stem Cells and More

In the United States alone, over 100,000 people are on the organ transplant list. Around 17 of these people will die per day without having received the transplant. It’s clear that organs from human donors will never be adequate for everyone looking for a transplant. Thus, scientists have been researching alternatives, such as using organs made from repurposed stem cells, animal organs, and bioprinted (3D-printed) organs.

In this article, we explore the future of organ transplants. The article attempts to answer frequently asked questions about technologies, such as human organ 3D bioprinting, how close humanity is to bioprinting internal human organs, and if humans have successfully 3D-printed organ transplants yet.

Improving Technology to Deliver Healthcare

In an article published by The NIH’s National Library of Medicine, Marilia Cascalho, Brenda M. Ogle, and Jeffrey L. Platt conclude that “the need for organ replacement not only exceeds by far the supply of organs available for transplantation, but the need is also likely to increase dramatically.”
Conscious of the reality presented by Ogle and others, scientists are turning to technology for new and innovative ways to deliver therapy and organs faster to those who need them.

Writing for the technology website, Jo Best cites the principal investigator at Penn State University, Dr. Ibrahim Ozbolat, who says, “
Bioprinting has great promise -it has a lot of advantages and capabilities. Of course, it’s not really perfect yet, but despite that, we have all these good things going on in the field.”

Although the technology is not perfect yet, 3D printing looks like it is the future of medical technology. From 3D-printed drugs to 3D-printed organs, a technology that has its roots in manufacturing is rapidly branching into the medical field. The use cases of bioprinting are extensive. Scientists have bioprinted drugs, external human body parts, and even human internal organs.

Central to scientists’ technologies to deliver better healthcare through technologies like 3D bioprinting is the need to develop environmentally-friendly and biodegradable ways to deliver drugs and health services.

What is Human Organ Printing?

organs printed

Bioprinting (also known as 3D bioprinting) is the combined use of biomaterials like cells and growth factors (naturally occurring substances that can stimulate cells’ production) to create structures that resemble body tissues. Bioprinting is an additive manufacturing process, implying that material is added to create something instead of starting with a block of material from which you need to remove parts to create an item.

The first step in bioprinting is the creation of a digital model of the tissue to be printed. This is followed by a layer-by-layer printing of the target tissue. The organs created through bioprinting are called engineered organs.

In a 2017 article published by the peer-reviewed literature repository,, Elliot S Bishop, and several other authors note that there are generally three core perspectives to bioprinting. These are biomimicry, autonomous self-assembly, and the microtissue-based method. While none of these three approaches is exclusive to bioprinting, they can be applied, at different levels, based on parameters like target tissue type, user experience, and printing method.

Let’s take a closer look at the three bioprinting core perspectives in greater detail:


Biomimicry involves the conceptual reduction of tissue to its simplest parts to make the building up process easier. According to the Biomimicry Institute, “Biomimicry offers an empathetic, interconnected understanding of how life works and, ultimately, where we fit in.” It adds, “We can use biomimicry to not only learn from nature’s wisdom but also heal ourselves — and this planet — in the process.”

The first step involves selecting an appropriate scaffold material that most resembles the target tissue in structural and mechanical properties.

The second and final step in biomimicry is the use of bioreactors. These simulate an environment similar to that of the target tissue. Bioreactors are often used after tissue printing, during the period where the tissue is allowed to mature.

Autonomous Self-assembly

Autonomous self-assembly mimics a cell’s creation through an autonomous organization that involves no external intervention. Autonomic self-assembly does not rely on scaffolding.

In an article published by the NIH’s National Library of Medicine, Karoly Jakab and a group of other authors say that the autonomous self-assembly principle is based on the assumption that “living organisms, particularly the developing embryo, are quintessential self-organizing systems.”

The main advantage of autonomous self-assembly is that it produces organs with high cellular density, better cellular interactions, faster growth, and better long-term function.


Bishop and others note that “the concept of a microtissue approach to bioprinting relies on the fact that a typical complex in vivo tissue is composed of many simpler units whose combined structure and function contribute to the overall whole.” This bioprinting method also involves creating the organ without the need for a scaffold.

According to Bishop and others, the main advantage of using the microtissue approach is that it results in “accelerated rates of ECM [extracellular matrix] production, maturation, and differentiation of vascular tissue.”

What are the Benefits of 3D Organ Printing?

The main advantage of bioprinting is that it could accelerate human organ production so that people who need organs do not have to wait too long before they can access them. Even though human donors will still play an essential part in providing organs, the 3D organ printing technologies will be much-needed alternatives to ensure that no-one dies in the future waiting for organ transplants.

Writing for the NIH Director’s Blog, Dr. Francis Collins states that one of the main advantages of 3D organ printing is that it relies on the host person’s cells as the foundation for the new organ.
In an article produced for, Sony Salzman proposes that, as the 3D organ printing technology gets better, it will become less likely that the host’s body will reject any organs produced for transplants.

As a general concept, bioprinting could result in humans gaining a better understanding of how nature works. This could result in human beings coming up with better ways to repair the damage caused by some of our environmentally-unfriendly actions. It makes it possible to consider ways of sustainable healthcare services and drug delivery.

How Close are we to Bioprinting Internal Organs?

A group of researchers from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and Asia University published a paper entitled, Print me an organ: Why are we not there yet? According to Professor Chua Chee Kai, a researcher at SUTD and lead author of the paper, “While 3D bioprinting is still in its early stages, the remarkable leap it has made in recent years points to the eventual reality of lab-grown, functional organs.” This suggests that a future where bioprinted internal organs are commonplace is inevitable.

Even though the use of transplantable fully-functional human internal organs is not yet common, Emma Yasinski, a science and medical journalist, is optimistic. She believes that “scientists are getting closer, making pieces of tissue that can be used to test drugs, and designing methods to overcome the challenges of recreating the body’s complex biology.”

Researchers have come as far as producing an organ similar to a human lung. Bioengineers achieved this at the University of Washington and Rice University. The technology used is called stereolithography apparatus for tissue engineering (SLATE). It is an open-source bioprinting technology used to create an organ that could sustain normal blood pressure and mimic breathing movements.

What Body Parts Can be 3D-Printed?

human brain printed

According to a website that brings together manufacturers of medical devices,, bones, corneas, cartilage, hearts, and skin have all been 3D-printed to varying degrees of success.

The Times of Israel reports that researchers from the University of Israel unveiled a 3D-printed heart made from human tissue in April 2019. The same paper reports this was the first artificial heart to have blood vessels, cells, chambers, and ventricles. It took between three to four hours to print the heart.

The world’s largest international online media platform on 3D printing and its applications,, reports that the Director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Professor Anthony Atala, unveiled a bioprinted kidney in 2011. The kidney was designed from stem cells in seven hours but could not live for very long.

3Dnatives also reports that ovaries, a mini liver, an ear, and a pancreas have also been bioprinted recently. This shows that even though there may still be issues with 3D bioprinted organs, the possibility of printing even the most intricate human organ is becoming a given.

Researchers in Groningen in the Netherlands have successfully bioprinted an antibacterial tooth. The tooth’s antibacterial abilities were tested against Streptococcus mutans (a bacteria commonly found in humans’ oral cavity) in a saliva solution. Ninety-nine percent of the bacteria were killed.

What Was the First 3D-Printed Organ?

According to an article published by the website that provides answers to some of the world’s most common questions,, a synthetic human bladder was developed in 1999 by scientists at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. It was created using a synthetic scaffold coated with cells taken from the target patient. Cells from the target patient were required to minimize the patient’s body’s chances of rejecting the synthesized organ.

Dr. Gabor Forgacs pioneered the research that led to the first successful 3D-printed organ. He started by observing cell behavior and discovered that the cells could fuse into entirely novel, spatial structures. Perhaps all of this would not have been made possible without the work of Charles W. Hull (Chuck) in 1984. Hull was the researcher who developed a stereolithography method (a 3D printing process that creates concept models and prototypes).

Have There Been Successful 3D-Printed Organ Transplants?

Most of the 3D-printed human organs have not been fully functional, but there have been a few successful transplants. As mentioned earlier, the scientists at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine printed and transplanted an artificial scaffold for a human bladder.

Currently, there are about ten people who have transplanted bladders made from their own cells.
According to EBioMedicine, a publication of, patients living with microtia has also had transplants done successfully. Microtia is a condition that causes the deformation of an individual’s external ear.

In China, five children living with microtia underwent successful bioprinted ear transplants. The artificial ears were made using cells from the patients’ bodies. The five children were observed for two and a half years, and the results were encouraging. Although two of the five patients had some issues with their new ears, the rest did not report any issues.

In 2016, a two-year-old girl from Queensland, Maia Van Mulligan, was born with only one ear and was put on a list for an ear transplant. On December 20, 2018, she had her missing ear successfully reconstructed thanks to 3D printing.

Using Animal Organs

Macro eye photo

Apart from 3D bioprinting, there are ongoing efforts in gene-editing technology to make it possible to transplant animal organs into human beings. Writing for the British publication,, Karen Weintraub says that it is no longer a question of if, but rather when this could happen.

In 2019, Weintraub reported that “researchers in South Korea are expected to transplant pig corneas into humans within a year.” She adds, “A handful of groups across the U.S. are also working toward pig organ clinical trials in the next few years, including a group at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston that is starting a six-person clinical trial using “blankets” of pigskin to temporarily protect the skin of burn victims.”

While Marlon F. Levy, a medical doctor working at the Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, accepts that there has been much progress in getting closer to animal-to-human transplants, he accepts that the clinical application process still needs to consider several issues within the field of genetics.