Skip to comments.The first 3D printed organ -- a liver -- is expected in 2014
Posted on 12/26/2013 4:25:17 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
Approximately 18 people die every day waiting for an organ transplant. But that may change someday sooner than you think -- thanks to 3D printing.
Advances in the 3D printing of human tissue have moved fast enough that San Diego-based bio-printing company Organovo now expects to unveil the world's first printed organ -- a human liver -- next year.
Like other forms of 3D printing, bio-printing lays down layer after layer of material -- in this case, live cells -- to form a solid physical entity -- in this case, human tissue. The major stumbling block in creating tissue continues to be manufacturing the vascular system needed to provide it with life-sustaining oxygen and nutrients.
Living cells may literally die before the tissue gets off the printer table.
Organovo, however, said it has overcome that vascular issue to a degree. "We have achieved thicknesses of greater than 500 microns, and have maintained liver tissue in a fully functional state with native phenotypic behavior for at least 40 days," said Mike Renard, Organovo's executive vice president of commercial operations.
A micron is one-millionth of a meter. To better understand the scale Renard is describing, think of it this way: A sheet of printer paper is 100 microns thick. So the tissue Organovo has printed is the thickness of five sheets of paper stacked on top of each other.....
(Excerpt) Read more at computerworld.com ...
QUICK PASS THE TEQUILA!
I’ll believe it when I see it. I’ve made good money on ONVO in the past (I bought it when it was a $2/shr stock). But to print a large hormone producing living tissue with capillaries to boot seems a stretch to me.
I call BS. This printed liver will never go into a human body ... at least not in 2014.
The hard part will be keeping the capillaries open. This is a common problem with any organ transplant, or reattaching things like fingers or ears, you get massive clotting in the capillaries and tissue death sets in.
livers are able to regenerate
liver donors have them grow back
You probably have to be of a certain age to get that one, just as if you’d called it “Dice Clay’s Computer.”
“But to print a large hormone producing living tissue with capillaries to boot seems a stretch to me.”
It’s a total “fabrication” - pun intended...
Here’s a very detailed look at the company and what it is doing.
“PASS THE TEQUILA!”
The obvious companion invention would be a 3D printer that prints tequila.
I’ll drink to that!
If successful, it will not only solve the lack of cadaver organs but allow transplants from personal tissue (assuming not a problem like Hepatitis or HIV) so that transplants can take place in the post-antibiotic era.
Can they print up a chianti and some fava beans too?
Often leeches are used to drain excess blood from such sites to prevent large clots. Yes, leeches.
I’d think that a printing process could in principle create a perfectly orderly grid of capillaries and arterioles/venules, ready to hook right up. It might even be set up to match up with whatever the patient already has, if we have the luxury of doing the printing real time. No leeches needed.
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