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Organ Printing Pondered

We encountered several reports dealing with the fantastic idea of printing human organs using 3D printing technology. The premise is to deposit cells in the appropriate shape. Various prototypes have been attempted, including  liver tissue, branched vascular trees and cartilage.

The bad news is that the experts predict it could be decades before such technology is ready for common use. Worse, several key problems must be overcome that are not your typical 3D print problems:

  • The organ dies unless you print a vascular system to feed it
  • CAD models for organs do not yet exist
  • Usable hydrogel mediums are not perfected
  • Tissue maturation is too slow
  • Print devices are not appropriate for living tissue

While we're waiting for this technology, we're going to try to look after our bodies a bit better.

Via The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (Iaac), RapidToday and The Medical University of South Carolina

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