By Kaitlynn Bayne
Remember when 3-D printing just seemed like something out of a sci-fi movie? Well as we all know, this “fantasy” has become a reality. You can buy a 3-D printer and print many things you need, even shoes! But here’s something you probably never thought of: how about a 3-D printer that prints functioning organs? Those might be a little more useful than shoes, right? Although it sounds extremely unrealistic, it is a lot closer to becoming a reality than you might think.
Okay, so there won’t be a new template online that will have your printer magically make working organs. However, scientists from the Universities of Sydney, Harvard, Stanford and MIT have been working on a type of technology called “bio-printing.” The idea is similar to a 3-D printer, using interconnected tiny fibers and cell-rich protein-based material to make up the tissues (which would be the material used to make the organs).
Although the technology is not at a point where it can start being used in hospitals, it is well on its way. They have successfully bio-printed small parts of tissues in the lab. This means that there is definitely a possibility that in the future, whole organs could be made with this technology. Right now, there is a much higher demand for organs than there are organ donors. Just imagine being able to print out a full organ at a hospital and it saving somebody’s life. That would be incredible.
WELCOME, UMICH SCIENTISTAS!
SORT BY TAG
The Network for Pre-Professional Women in Science and Engineering
The Scientista Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) -- Donate!