There are endless possibilities with a 3D printer and yes it can also be used to print organs. However the problem with internal organs is that they tend to be very complex, with countless blood vessels required to be just in the right positions for the organ to actually work and be of any use. Researchers have finally been able to overcome this hurdle as they have used a 3D printer to print working blood vessels. The team hails from the University of Sydney, Stanford, MIT and Harvard. They solved the problem by growing human cells around the skeleton of vessels.
Once the vessels take the exact shape and form that is required for the organ to function, researchers dissolve the 3D printed material to get working blood vessels. An advanced bioprinter was used for this procedure which was then coated with endothelial cells and a protein-based material.
This procedure will allow researchers to quite literally build internal organs in labs and this team is certain that these developments will lead to true organ regeneration in the future.
Dr. Luiz Bertassoni of the University of Sydney says that “the possibility of printing three-dimensional tissues with functional blood capillaries in the blink of an eye is a game changer.” One can’t help but agree. If this procedure is perfected and found fit for human use no longer would patients have to wait for organ transplants. It would change this entire field of medicine as we know it and it would certainly be for the better.