The invention of 3-D printers is surely a mile stone in computer world. It uses computer created digital models for creating real world objects like toys, jewelry and even food items.
The most amazing miracle about which we are going to talk about today is the printing of human organ using 3-D printers. 3-D printers can reproduce the vascular systems required to make viable organs. Some years back the machines were only able to produce the printed tiny strips of organ tissues. Now with the rapid growth in technology, scientists can produce the whole organ in the labs from the body cells. There is a consortium (ARMI) of research institutes and companies across the world who are working on regenerated organs in the guidance of Dean Kamen an engineer- inventor.
How organ are made in labs
- First of all, scientists gather the human cells from biopsies or stem cells and allow them to multiply in a petri dish.
- The result of this is a biological ink or bioink which is fed into 3-D printer.
- Bioink spheroids are printed into layer of biological paper gel.
- Additional layers are printed to build the object.
- Then the biopaper dissolves and the bioink spheroids are fused together.
- In this way finally the living tissue is ready.
For example, if one has to produce an ear, first of all the structure of the ear is printed through the 3-D printer, then that ear is injected with the living ear cells and collagen. After the span of gestation, an ear is born successfully.
Organ that are successfully printed
- Living tissues - Living tissues like ear, bone and muscle structures have been 3-d printed. When these parts are implanted in animals they are successfully responding like getting matured, developing its blood vessels.
- Artery - by a biotech firm of china, a 3-D printed section of artery is successfully implanted in a monkey.
- Ovaries - Chicago Northwestern University has printed prosthetic ovaries for mice, which went on to conceive and gave birth.
- Liver - At biotech firm Organovo of San Diego, a 3-d printed human liver tissue is transplanted to mice successfully.
- Skin - Printing human skin is a working on project at testing level.
Constant hard work of Scientists leads them to achieve the success mentioned above but still there is a long way to go. With the endless efforts in this field there is a possibility that the scientists can print Kidneys and livers in about six year, but the most complex organ of our body that is heart may take longer time.
Benefits of this technology
- The organs which are 3d printed are not very costly any person can afford them.
- 3-d printed organ are easily adaptable to the bodies because they are created from the persons own body cells. The chances of rejection are very less.
- When this technology is in the reach of common man it will completely removes the deficiency of organs.
Thus 3D printing of organs has really revolutionized the Medical sector and is expected to bring in more and more for the betterment of society.
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