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3D Printing Organs

3D Printing Organs

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3D Printing Organs

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  1. 3D Printing Organs TarynMingey

  2. Why would do we need to 3D print organs? • The number of patients in need of transplants has risen signifgantly since 2000, and the number of people receiving transplants has stayed practically the same. • There is a critical need for an alternative to a human organ taken from a donor. Donors are very rare and often the recipient of the transplant can easily reject the organ making it hard to match a donor with a recipient.

  3. How could it be done? • Using a smart biomaterial, scientists create a base layer or structure. The scientists then take a small sample of the tissue or organ from the patient, separate the cells, and then begin to replicate them. The previously printed structure is then coated with cells that were grown separately from the body until the cells cover the entire new organ. This procedure tricks the body into believing that it built this organ on its own. The organ is then placed into a human temperature incubator for a few weeks to let the cells cultivate.

  4. Who is a leader in this field? Anthony Atala • Anthony Atala, the director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, was the first person to successfully print a 3D organ and use it inside of a person. The first ever successful non-donor transplant was done using biomaterials to create a bladder. In 2007, Atala and his team discovered that stem cells can be harvested from the amniotic fluid of pregnant women. This discovery helped revolutionize the field of bio-materials, allowing for tissue to be fabricated.

  5. Video • 9.20-15:20

  6. The Future • In the future, major organs will be able to be printed using the techniques that Atala spoke of. Blood vessels, joints, and mechanics are already being 3D printed and the future holds a lot more. By integrating the 3D print with the patients own cells, the possibilities for using genetically engineered organs are endless.