I have always found 3D printing very intriguing and cool, but 3D printing organs is a whole another story. 3D printing has been a part of medicine and dentistry for prosthetics, implants or even surgical equipment. However, these are all printed using materials such as plastic or metal. Scientists and researchers have gone a step further- printing with cells.
How does 3D printing organs work?
First, you have to gather stem cells from the person who is in need of an organ. Then you have to culture them in order to have enough. Once you have enough, you have to turn them into bioink so that they can fit through the nozzle of the printer. Next, the printing starts and the process begins!
The 3D Organ Process
Once the usable tissue is printed there are two possible options. It can be printed directly onto the patient in need or built and then implanted.
Progress So Far
So far only the human bladder has been printed and implanted successfully. With this, implantation researchers concluding that one of its amazing advantages is the ability to customize the organ to fit right.
Future of Organ Printing
This could be a gamechanger for the future as many people wait for organ donations. Additionally, this is a much safer way instead of donated organs. Donor organs can cause the patient’s immune systems to attack themselves leading to organ failure. However, the printed organs are made using their own tissue which will not be rejected by the body and will be the exact measurement as needed.
With technology improving every day, 3D organ printing can save many lives in the future and can improve the healthcare world drastically.