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3D printing human organs

Health Influencer Insights: February 2016

2/26/2016
— Rachael Parkman 

A moment where science fiction met reality occurred when scientist began printing sections of bone, muscle and cartilage from a 3D printer. More incredibly, they all functioned normally when implanted into animals. The advance in technology has been bridged by novel use of scaffolding structures which allow human cells to be printed on to them.

3D printers have already changed the way we look at materials. Prosthetics limbs, for example, are being produced using 3D printers at a massively reduced cost. One of the primary reason for the cost reduction is personalising an item to a specific person, which required time consuming, bespoke machining, which the printer has now simplified.

The advancement in to human tissue printing is the latest evolution of growing customized structures. The 3D printer further simplifies the process through the removal of animals to support the transplant structure and an easy construction medium. It’s a fascinating development and provides an opportunity for rapidly treating debilitating injuries and illness.

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