Uganda Will Now Print 3D Human Tissues In Space


Uganda has come up with a biofabrication 3D printing technology that will print human organs to help several patients who die of organ failure in the country.

Uganda has made its way to space. A fire alarm issue had caused delays on Nov. 6. Nevertheless, the country’s first satellite, PearlAfricaSat-1, was launched successfully into space on the morning of Nov. 7 at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops space flight facility on Wallops Island, Virginia, US.

Uganda will use its new satellite to have access to more reliable data on weather forecasting, mineral mapping, agri-monitoring, and border security. Along with these, the country will be executing health tech life-saving experiments there. Uganda will use the microgravity (weightlessness) of the satellite to carry out advanced 3D biological printing of human tissue in space, along with an “investigation into how microgravity influences ovary function.”

The satellite has landed on the International Space Station (ISS) and it will be monitored from the Mpoma ground satellite station in the capital Kampala.

This was the result of the Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds Satellite program (BIRDS) with Japan and Zimbabwe, headed by three Ugandan engineers—Edgar Mujuni, Bonny Omara, and Derrick Tebusweke. They were trained in Japan at the Kyushu Institute of Technology in designing, building, testing, and launching satellites.

BioFabrication Facility (BFF), BFF, is a platform for scientists to print organ-like tissues and prove viability for human organ fabrication in space.

“BFF is a game-changing technology that could have significant implications for the future of human health and patient care on Earth,” says John Vellinger, the executive vice president of in-space manufacturing and operations at Redwire, the company developing the technology.

Microgravity is exclusive to space which helps create high-quality bioprinted body organs, unlike on earth. 3D bioprinters employ ‘bio-inks’ based on human cells to grow body tissues such as skin, bone, and cartilage.

Uganda has dedicated $2.2 million to research and development of space exploration. By December 2021,13 African countries had sent satellites into orbit with 125 new satellites scheduled for development by 2025 by 23 African countries.


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