By Andrew Nusca
Posting in Science
Scientists are working hard to produce replacement human body parts using a three-dimensional printer. Science fiction? No -- reality.
The first logical answer would be body parts, to replace the irreparably damaged ones that you or your loved ones may have.
The three-dimensional printer is making strides toward that goal. A new Washington Post feature describes the work that scientists are doing in the area of 3-D bioprinting, a small subset of the greater field of tissue engineering.
Though the technology has been around for two decades, it's never been used like this.
Bonnie Berkowitz reports:
In laboratories all over the world, experts in chemistry, biology, medicine and engineering are working on many paths toward an audacious goal: to print a functioning human liver, kidney or heart using a patient’s own cells.
That’s right — new organs, to go. If they succeed, donor waiting lists could become a thing of the past.
Tony Atala, director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in North Carolina, envisions what he calls “the Dell computer model,” where a surgeon could order up “this hard drive, with this much memory …,” only he or she would be talking about specs for living tissue rather than electronics.
We're still a long way off -- decades -- before we can begin running off a new kidney or liver for a patient. But in a feat that sounds like it was taken straight from a science fiction script, scientists have already printed skin, vertebral disks and other kinds of soft, cartilage-like tissue. Even more incredibly, they've successfully implanted them into living organisms.
Organs with complex vascular systems are another challenge entirely. But the earliest human trials for printed replacement parts are expected in two to five years -- showing that the potential for the technology is, well, breathtaking.
Jun 5, 2011
What???s wrong with it, I believe that human will go further in novelty of such mechanism which can be good for human maturity for the future. Human can?????????
There are good chances that it may work PROVIDED MICROSOFT IS NOW INVOLVED IN ANY WAY! Trust microsoft to have imperfections and this is not tolerable with human lives. Microsoft has to come up with 1 piece of software which is working properly. PLEASE DEVELOP THIS TECHNOLOGY FOR APPLE OR LINUX.
If this could happen, it would be real awesome.. But don???t you think the name printer shouldn???t be used? In harry potter i have seen the concept of dynamic printers to print the Magical newspaper where the pictures move but in real world should we use printer when we are talking about producing organs? - Nouman
I had surgery on my neck I had a sliped disc inbetween vertabra 5 & 6 they replaced it with a cadaver bone and it has ben 7 mounths and still hasent healed and the pain is constent I have to take 60 ml's of oxycodone every 4 hours cant work loosing everything I wish this tech was close to me and available
I come from people who were printers, books, posters, you name it. My husband used to print the containers that held human skin for the skin banks. Lately printing has fallen off due to the home printer and ebooks. I read the other day about printing solar cells. The future is looking brighter in more than one way. Whole new technologies.
If I was graduating from med or pharmacy school today , I sure would consider entering this exiting field. A generic heart, anyone ?
Shortly after beginning to read this article I had to glance to my system tray to verify the date. No,it wasn't 4/1/2011! Unreal.
will be built to run out of "ink" twice as quickly as they could be. And they will always run out of "pink" color first, while the "black and blue" colors are still 90% unused. ;)