If you were in need of an organ transplant, would you be open to accepting one that had been 3D-printed?
The hope is that one day, the bioprinting market will grow to the point of having researchers be able to use 3D printing technology to create kidneys, hearts, and livers. And they suspect that it could help to greatly impact the world's organ shortage.
Organ shortages are estimated to result in the deaths of at least 20 people every single day because they can't get the organ that they need.
The ability to use the printer to create a whole organ is still in the works, though researchers suspect that it could only be a few short years away before they are able to make that become a reality.
And one of the companies that is working in this space, Organovo, has established a bioprinting process that includes using cells that come from a donated blood sample, and it has turned them into printable ink.
By doing this, the printer is able to print layers of cells in a calculated design.
Some researchers think that perhaps learning to try and regenerate an organ inside of the body, might be a better option than trying to grow one in a dish or have it printed. This, they say, is because the liver has its own regenerative properties and they think that the key is to restore the organ's own regenerative capacity instead of trying to print it somewhere else. According to Prof. Stuart Forbes, from the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, the two different approaches might need to eventually try and work together.
Eventually, this technology could be used to help save and better many lives.
Cellink via Guardian
via Organ India
The information that is posted above is not intended to be used as any substitute for professional medical advice, or diagnosis or treatment. The above is posted for informational purposes only.