3D Printing Used To Generate A Liver!
Peter Donnell / 10 years ago
I’ve been wanting a 3D printer ever since I first heard of the concept. They sound like a great way of replacing that missing Lego brick, replacing the missing battery cover from your TV remote, or prototyping computer components for a custom chassis build. However, my ideas are limited in comparison to what a new San Diego start-up company has done. Organovo has been busy working on a way to 3D print organs and edible meat for the future and they’ve actually had some success having recently 3D printed a liver.
The organ was printed using layers of liver cells and while they only developed a slice of liver, it was fully functioning and the organ survived for 40 days. The previous attempt at making a liver created an organ that survived five days, so they either got lucky, or they’re getting better at it.
While the liver tissue works in the sense that it filters toxins and drugs as a liver should, the company hasn’t cracked the printing of blood vessels. The liver needs fresh blood supply to keep it alive and it is this missing blood that is killing off the organ after just 40 days.
Not only is this still a huge discovery, but the cells used in the printing process can be created from a patients stem cells, meaning the patients body wouldn’t reject the implant!
This is pretty incredible and I can’t wait to see what other advancements 3D printers give us in the future.
Thank you MSN for providing us with this information.
Image courtesy of MSN.