3D Printed Body Piercing Project Suggests Future Human Augmentation

The prototype bioprinter used to create biodegradable medicinal sleeves

A bioprinting project hopes to enable a new world of biodegradable human implants. 

A report on CBC describes a project by BioPierce Canada, which intends to develop 3D bioprinted “sleeves” that dramatically increase the safety of body piercings. 

In the report, co-founder Norman Silber described the moment when the idea was born from his daughter’s issues with ear piercing infections: 

In the back seat of the car she got quite irritated and wondered out loud why, when they pierced your ears, the posts didn’t have a design which allowed them to dispense the anti infective medicine from the inside coming out. And I thought that was really quite interesting, and essentially followed up on it.

And so this is how it works: slide the sleeve over the piercing object, and any number of medications can be automatically distributed over time. 

It seems they do not yet have a retail project from this work, but are evidently developing a prototype. If successful, I imagine they’d be soon hooking up with any number of organizations providing ear piercing services. 

But that is definitely not the end of it, as I feel there could be far more applications of this type of technology. 

In the CBC report, they propose applications such as microchipping animals and pets in a more safe manner, but really the drug delivery system envisioned here is a path towards more easily adding foreign objects to human bodies. Sure, ear piercings are a very common practice, but what happens if you could adorn yourself with arbitrary items? This technology could enable that to happen. 

Fashion items are obviously possible, but it may also be possible to attach functional objects, such as signal generators, drug dispensers or even clips for attaching larger objects. 

As always, one technology may lead to others. 

Via CBC (Hat tip to Norman)

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