Author Topic: The first 3D printed organ -- a liver -- is expected in 2014  (Read 369 times)

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Offline Cincinnatus

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The first 3D printed organ -- a liver -- is expected in 2014
« on: December 28, 2013, 02:07:58 AM »
Holy moly. The possibilities!

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Computerworld - 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.

Printing hepatocytes -- the cells that make up most liver tissue -- isn't enough, however. There are multiple types of cells with different functions in tissue that must be combined to create a living human organ.

Organovo's researchers were able to bring together fibroblasts and endothelial cells, which perform the function of developing tiny vascular networks, allowing the company to achieve thick tissue with good cell viability, Renard said.


http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9244884/The_first_3D_printed_organ_a_liver_is_expected_in_2014

More, lots more, at link.
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Offline Oceander

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Re: The first 3D printed organ -- a liver -- is expected in 2014
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2013, 01:36:03 PM »
Which brings up an interesting question:  what about printing food?  Printing a steak (I prefer to stay away from liver and onions, even if they're served with a nice chianti) wouldn't require as much fidelity to all of the internal structures as printing a functioning liver requires.

Offline Ford289HiPo

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Re: The first 3D printed organ -- a liver -- is expected in 2014
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2013, 05:05:37 PM »
Which brings up an interesting question:  what about printing food?  Printing a steak (I prefer to stay away from liver and onions, even if they're served with a nice chianti) wouldn't require as much fidelity to all of the internal structures as printing a functioning liver requires.

You beat me to that comment! I was thinking the same.
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Offline DCPatriot

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Re: The first 3D printed organ -- a liver -- is expected in 2014
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2013, 05:07:59 PM »
I'm thinking it's a great time to invest in Jack Daniel's stock.   :laugh:
"It aint what you don't know that kills you.  It's what you know that aint so!" ...Theodore Sturgeon

"If you want to change the world, go home and love your family".    ...Mother Teresa

Offline DCPatriot

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Re: The first 3D printed organ -- a liver -- is expected in 2014
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2013, 05:11:13 PM »
Which brings up an interesting question:  what about printing food?  Printing a steak (I prefer to stay away from liver and onions, even if they're served with a nice chianti) wouldn't require as much fidelity to all of the internal structures as printing a functioning liver requires.

I'm too old to understand how this sh*t works.   :laugh:

What would a 3D printed tenderloin steak taste like?  What would it be made of?

And I love liver and onions....so long as it's tender and not shoe leather.
"It aint what you don't know that kills you.  It's what you know that aint so!" ...Theodore Sturgeon

"If you want to change the world, go home and love your family".    ...Mother Teresa

Offline EC

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Re: The first 3D printed organ -- a liver -- is expected in 2014
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2013, 05:20:48 PM »
Not printed, grown in a petri dish, but the principle is very similar.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23576143
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Offline Oceander

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Re: The first 3D printed organ -- a liver -- is expected in 2014
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2013, 10:19:33 PM »
You beat me to that comment! I was thinking the same.

Great minds think alike!


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