Printing body parts: Making a bit of me @ The Economist

Printing body parts: Making a bit of me @ The Economist

THE great hope of transplant surgeons is that they will, one day, be able to order replacement body parts on demand. At the moment, a patient may wait months, sometimes years, for an organ from a suitable donor. During that time his condition may worsen. He may even die. The ability to make organs as they are needed would not only relieve suffering but also save lives. And that possibility may be closer with the arrival of the first commercial 3D bio-printer for manufacturing human tissue and organs.

The new machine, which costs around $200,000, has been developed by Organovo, a company in San Diego that specialises in regenerative medicine, and Invetech, an engineering and automation firm in Melbourne, Australia. One of Organovo’s founders, Gabor Forgacs of the University of Missouri, developed the prototype on which the new 3D bio-printer is based. The first production models will soon be delivered to research groups which, like Dr Forgacs’s, are studying ways to produce tissue and organs for repair and replacement. At present much of this work is done by hand or by adapting existing instruments and devices.

Ok Bre! Please release OrganBot OSH CC attribution, share-alike, commercial use allowed. I’d like to print an extra spleen… just in case.

4 thoughts on “Printing body parts: Making a bit of me @ The Economist

  1. I see you have not seen the series 2057 on history channel have you? In the Ohio State University they are already printing working human cells and have stated the only reason they are not actually “printing” human parts is they have yet to figure out how to make capillaries. Once they figure out how to do this, they can show medical hospitals and the hospitals take a portion of your own non diseased body part and grow more then they need in a vat and then print out a new body part that is then replaced after removing the diseased one. The chances of your body rejecting it is zero since it is your own body that this is made of. You really need to get a copy of this 2057 series and watch it as it will blow your mind what is comin in the next few years and decades…

  2. @Daniel – the *history channel* has a show called 2057? something seems wrong :)

    (i’ll check out the show, i don’t have a tv, but i am sure there are places to find it, thx!)

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