As much as 3D printing technology has developed in the past few years, there are even more high-impact, and seemingly unlikely, use cases of it currently in development. Printed organs is one of them.
Being able to easily create new organs has for decades been a dream for scientists working in regenerative medicine. While it remains in its early stages, the use of the 3D workflow to produce organic tissue eligible for transplant is bearing early fruit. The likes of Organovo and various other laboratories and startups around the world have made creating liver tissue via 3D printing a research priority.
3D organ creation centers around the practice of bioprinting, a specialist offshoot of 3D printing, which takes cells from donors, turns them into printable bio-ink, and then layers and cultures them into mature tissue ready for organ transplantation.
The potential benefits of being able to use 3D printing technology to provide necessary transplant organs are incalculable. What’s more, they may yet pave the way for even greater strides in regenerative medicine, offering new, safe ways to design and test drugs that could treat organ disease and prevent the need for organ transplants altogether.
Information contained within this page originally appeared on Formlabs.com