The problem with organ transplants is that the organ has to come from someone else. Since most people rather fancy their hearts and lungs, getting any organ other than a kidney usually requires the difficult combination of donor consent and timely death. In an attempt to circumvent that limitation, the engineering company engineering firm Invetech teamed up with the medical company Organovo to produce the first commercial 3-D bio-printer.
The device, which works like a 3-D fabricator, builds organs up one layer of cells at a time. Instead of using melted plastic or ink, the printer uses different cells based on the recipient's own body, thus significantly lowering the chance of organ rejection. For some of the more complex organs, the printer lays the cells over a pre-made scaffold.
The printer remains in an early testing phase, but Invetech and Organovo claim that the technology will advance far enough to print out arteries and veins for bypass surgery within five years, with complex organs like a heart or a liver possible within ten.
Naturally, these companies created this device for the benefit of mankind and human health, but I'm looking forward to using it for the benefit of my taste buds. Perfectly marbled cut of bone-in rib eye? I'll email you the specs -- just print it out when I'm done with my appetizer.
This has been expected for a long time. Glad to see it here! How does it create open areas? A dissolvable substance? And if so, how are the cells kept alive?
Could u also make a female organ with that, or even a shaft for transexual? Even using the opposite gender genetic?
If I want a new liver do I just hit Bile>Print?
@maxhubert in ten years when they can print something as complicated as a heart I'm sure your dreams may come true as well.
My concern- Is this going to circumvent the cyborg hordes of the technological singularity? I mean why make a machine to replace a body part when you can make the body part right. I guess we'll still see cyborgs since there will be people with the money to afford mechanical enhancements that are better than the natural parts.
Can I have a heart please... mines just fine, but I feel like having a 2nd one implanted :)
Well, if it works like a SLA machine (stereolitography...which is used to make samples of every kind of piece out of a plastic resin), opened areas are created rather simply because as it also stated in the article, the "printer" build up organs by layers (I don't know the rate of each one but I guess it could be around a tenth of a millimeter each) so, when making a hollow area, it will lay materials only on the surfaces which embed the empty part.....layer by layer up to the top end of it.
Regarding keeping the cells alive, I'm as curious as you are and I hope someone could help us understand that.
V3RTIGO: I just want you to know that if you were to do that, your blood pressure would double. You might be stronger for a while, but you would soon have either an aneurysm or a seizure and die. Also, most of your internal organs would probably not be able to handle twice the blood pressure.
However,I could probably make myself a bio-suit that I can become one with, which flies around, breaths fire, and eats people
Also, I might be able to live forever with organ replacements (heart, intestines, brain, etc.)
This is awesome!!!! But i cant wait until they can give me a real vagina!!!! You see I am a man but deep down inside i know that i am a woman and i would get a sex change but its just that i want a real vagina and real boobs!!!! So maybe in ten years I will be able to become a real woman and get all the @ock that i can handle!!! The best part is is that you gentleman would never know you'd be having sex with a man lol!!!!!
STOP SHARIA LAW!!! STOP ISLAM BEFORE IT RUINS THE WORLD!!!
How big is this printer?
I have a print job in mind...
Could you print an entire person and have it come to live even in a vegetable stat?
Woo Hoo Lee Press on limbs. Maybe it can be used to give some peoples boss a spine. Wonder if it can print that?
so just google a pic of what organ you want, click print, and a few month later you finally get it?
This is amazing, I can't wait to see how well it will be applied for those who really need new organs to survive. Wait times will be reduced drastically I bet.
@Stop_Sharia_Law: Islam is just as bad as any other religion on this planet, so I doubt it will be the only one to ruin the world in the end....it has not been so far.
Otherwise, great article.
I'm suddenly reminded of a "SpongeBob" episode, where he uses a printer to make burgers.
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Wow, I can't wait for the future. So many awesome technologies coming out. We'll all live to be like 150-200 years old.
Heart gone bad? No Problem! Just head on over to windwakr's organ print shop and print a new one out!
The best part is is that you gentleman would never know you'd be having sex with a man lol!!!!!
Wow! I am thrilled that medicine continues to progress and alter the poor health of many people through the use of a printer. It provides me hope for my own dreams and that they really can come true.
Select Object to Print > Meagan Fox > Print > 100% Complete
For the few of you wondering, they keep the cells alive by keeping them in some sort of nutritious liquid. I had to do research on stem cells a little while back, and I discovered organ building using stem cells and scaffolding to hold the cells in the right position while they bathed the structure in this liquid. I have no idea what's in it, but apparently it's all the cell needs to stay alive. Hope that helps :)
The analog suspension is generally an oxygenated mixture of sodium bicarbonate, amino acids, and vitamins, with a little bit of glutamine mixed in depending on what kind of cells you are cultivating and their purpose.