Organ Printing: Custom organs printed on demand

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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...Like any printing process, organ printing requires ink, paper, and printer.

The "bio-ink" consists of cells taken from an organ, such as a blood vessel or heart valve. The "bio-paper" is Prestwich's hydrogel. The printer can be a standard ink-jet model, modified to use a solution of cells and liquid hydrogel instead of ink, or one designed for using bio-ink.

The cells and liquid hydrogel are placed in the printer cartridge and then dropped in three-dimensional, 1-microliter dots that form layers as the hydrogel solidifies. After many layers have been made, the cells fuse into tissue that forms 3-D structures. The hydrogel is removed, and new healthy tissue is left to implant into a damaged or diseased organ.

"We already have printed 3-D structures that mimic blood vessels," Forgacs said. [continued]
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-11/uouh-uou111105.php
 

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  • #3
Moonbear
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This is really cool stuff. One of my friends worked on stuff like that for her PhD project in biomedical engineering...building a matrix that would serve as a scaffold for tissue repair.
 
  • #5
Pengwuino
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I remember seeing this a few years ago but kinda figured it wasn't a realistic idea.

I also remember seeing how they did the same thing with small plastic pieces and parts. The idea came about as a solution to the whole "throw-away" society we have. The solution was if one small part breaks, a large "printer" could basically do the same process here except with metals or plastics and create an exact replica of the part that was broken. Now that i think about it however, why not just call the company to order a replacement part....
 
  • #6
Ivan Seeking
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Pengwuino said:
I remember seeing this a few years ago but kinda figured it wasn't a realistic idea.

I also remember seeing how they did the same thing with small plastic pieces and parts. The idea came about as a solution to the whole "throw-away" society we have. The solution was if one small part breaks, a large "printer" could basically do the same process here except with metals or plastics and create an exact replica of the part that was broken. Now that i think about it however, why not just call the company to order a replacement part....
I saw the same thing with the plastic process. They were shooting for non-replacable items. Most parts can't be purchased separately anymore.

I have had customers who use the 3D printing for engineering applications. For one, this helps to prevent errors where complex designs are involved. The actual part can be build in plastic, or the form emailed to another printing location, to ensure that everything fits as indicated in the documentation.
 
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