3D printing technology Current Affairs - 2020

What is Corona Virus Copy Machine?

After COVID-19 virus invades a human cell, it begins to replicate or copy itself. In order to achieve this, the virus uses its enzyme called “copy machine”. With the enzyme the virus creates its copies after copies.

The researchers recently have invented 3D structure of the copy machine enzyme. This invention has made it possible to decipher the working of drugs such as Remdesivir and their working.

Working

The COVID-19, as soon as it enters a human cell, binds to the human cell enzyme. The binding is done by the spike like proteins on the virus called the corona.

What does the 3D model say?

The 3D structure invented by the researchers found that the COVID-19 virus is similar to that of the SARS virus.

Significance

The research will help in bringing the efficacy of the drug “Remdesivir”. Remdesivir is one of the drugs that help in blocking polymerase. The drug is under trial of WHO.

WHO Trials

WHO has been working on four major trials. They are Remdesivir, Hydroxychloroquine, Lopinavir and Ritonavir and the combination of Lopinavir and Ritonavir along with Interferon-beta.

In India, the Gujarat hospitals are participating in these trials.

Scientists develop 3D-printed soft silicone heart

Scientists from ETH Zurich in Switzerland have developed a 3D-printed soft silicone heart that closely resembles and functions like the human organ.

It is not exact biological replica of the actual, but can help to save lives of people who suffer from cardiac failure. It can be also used as an artificial heart in cases when patient is awaiting a heart transplant.

Key Facts

The 3D-printed soft artificial heart is a silicone monoblock with complex inner structure. It weighs 390 grams and has a volume of 679 cubic centimetres. It is made of silicone using a 3D printed mold. It represents one of the most advanced replicas yet created of one of human’s most important organs.

The artificial heart has a right and a left ventricle which are not separated by a septum but by an additional chamber. This chamber is inflated and deflated by pressurised air required to pump fluid from the blood chambers.

This current model is not yet stable enough to be used in an actual patient. At present, it can only work for several thousand beats, lasting around 30 to 45 minutes. Researchers are planning to develop an advanced model which could conceivably work over a period of years.

3D Printing Technology

3D printing is a process of making 3-D (three dimensional) solid objects from a digital file with extreme precision. This technology is also termed additive manufacturing as the 3D printed object is created us additive processes i.e. by laying down successive layers of manufacturing material on each other until the entire object is created. This technology has limitless possibilities and can create almost anything with just raw material and a computer generated model.