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.
It’s the “arching” or “ bridging” problem when dealing with other “ink” types when 3d’ing. With PLA or ABS you can solve it with print speed, thickness and how fast the printed material drys. With tissue deposition, there might be a reason to have bio-dissolvable arches to support the cells while they adhere to each other and form vessicles that transport blood in and out. After the structure solidifies, the temporary scaffolding could be removed. Just not sure what works as the scaffolding. Yeah, I 3d, but not tissue.
In other words I think you mean some kind of temporary filler for the vessels.
With chemical engineering ingenuity I don’t know why that could not be done. I’m thinking of the process by which filled cordial cherries (in chocolate) are commonly made. While the innards could be frozen before covering (and that is a common homemade process) the commercial solution is an enzyme that turns the solid innards to liquid within a reasonable time.
In 20 years they will be creating terminators to go back in time and kill Sarah Palin.
The mother of the resistance.
Well not filler for the vessels, but scaffolding with hollow coring. Ideally air and water and nutrient permeable scaffolding.
Hey, that’s bio stuff for you medical folks. Boiling acetone works for me to smooth out the striations on printed surfaces of PLA/ABS. (Some youtube vids on that.)
But that problem has been encountered and overcome — especially when having to create small tunnels/caverns in the printed object.
Perhaps. But if we clone her? Then what are they gonna do?
Sounds like the idea is to coat the insides of the hollow scaffold? Can’t rule anything out. I just suggested the cordial cherry approach as one being rather straightforward if the time factor can be controlled. The filler just oozes out.
My desktop 3d printer is slow and uses non-biological materials, but it can take an hour or more to print a small object in the approximately 8x8x8 print envelope. That time wouldn’t work too well in your field.
I understand the brain is toast if not oxygenated withing 7 minutes (or less) and other organs probably have similar deadlines. But expensive three-dee printers work faster and larger and your cherry solution is not out of range in terms of those 3dee printers’ time constraints (as far as I can see).
When you get the tissue deposition worked out, let me know. I want to print Salma Hayek. (And I am single.)
Temperature would be a factor too. If the brain is chilled it can withstand anoxia far longer.
A small fan cools the ABS/PLA to stiffen it when I print bridges or caverns. That prevents (or minimizes) the top-most printed layers from drooping while still hot and maleable. If you are saying cold organs last longer then tissue deposition 3dee printing (with bridging and caverning) can meet the nutrient and internal structuring issues head on.
My 3deee printed Salma Hayek IS possible. You have given me hope. Ole!
You’ll just have to thaw her out when done!
She’s naturally hot. She will warm up naturally. This plan is working out well. I just need some DNA.
Finding some soul would be a little more difficult though. You do want something better than a zombie??
They also come with chianti and fava beans...
the beauty of the ONVO technology for now is the ability to test with the simulation of a live liver for over a month. should allow for major advances in treatment of liver disease even if the 3d printing is never implanted.
Hopefully, they will develop the technology to the point where I can print out a complete Kate Upton.
I can see that in harvested organs but in a printed organ why would there be any blood in a capillary?
I got carried away. Finding some soul IS more difficult, even with respect to Salma Hayek. You are correct. That can’t be 3deee’d.
Kate Upton? I am working on 3dee printing Salma Hayek. Kate is blonde. Come on over to the dark side.
That’s God territory.
“That’s God territory.”
I knew there’d be a catch. Well, I tried.
I meant my heart, of course. Some people...