Need a new liver? No problem, I’ll just print one…
The future’s bright, the future’s a printer that can print in 3D – not just cars or tools – but human organs and body parts. 3D printing has really taken off in the last few years and it’s estimated that within 20 years we’ll be able to store full scans of our bodies and then print off parts as and when required…handy…or army or even leggy depending on your need.
This video describes the process
The San Diego-based company, Organovo, has developed a 3D printer that uses two inkjet cartridges to print the living goo that makes up your guts. The hacked ink cartridges are filled with live cells and hydrogel, a material that’s sprayed down and forms a scaffolding for the cells to form on. It takes 24-48 hours for the cells to bond and become an organ. Maybe this could even be combined with synthetic biology and we could print off our own creations.
The infographic below helps explain the process and shows how much is spent on R&D.