Three-dimensional printing has been used to make everything from pizza to the prosthesis, and now researchers are working on the use of emerging technology to manufacture hearts, kidneys and other vital organs.
That would be big news, as the number of people who desperately need an organ transplant exceeds the number of donor organs available. On average, about 21 Americans die each day because you need an organ was not available.
What exactly the promise of 3D printing organs and tissues or “bioprinting”? How the technology works, and when it might start saving lives?
For answers to these and other questions, HuffPost science extended to Dr. Anthony Atala (right), director of the Wake Forest Institute for regenerative medicine and a world-renowned expert in the field, to find out.
Here’s a slightly edited version of the Q to &.
Do 3D printing can be finished with the shortage of organs?
3D printing is not magic. It is simply a way of extending current processes we use to engineer of organs in the laboratory. Our team has successfully designed the bladders, cartilage, skin, tubes and vaginas that have been implanted in patients. Our goal is to produce structures of the body such as these with 3D printing to make engineering process more accurate and reproducible. The regenerative medicine – regardless of the form are designed bodies–aims to help solve the shortage of donor organs.
How could compare 3D-printed organs of organ donors?