Functional 3D Printed Organs by 2014

A breakthrough in vascular 3D printing has led bio-printing firm Organovo to predict printed livers will be available within the next year.

While the announcement has sparked even more interest in the burgeoning field of 3D bio-printing, Organovo has stated that its printed liver won’t be suitable for human transplant. Instead, the liver will be used as proof that the San Diego-based company has the chops to build a printer that can reliably produce human liver tissue.

If Organovo can meet its mark, the firm will begin selling 3D bio-printers to companies engaged in drug development – an expensive and research-intensive field.

Key to Organovo’s confidence is its recently refined printing process, which binds fibroblasts and endothelial cells together to create a network of blood vessels. With this breakthrough the company has been able to print organs that are 500 microns thick (thicker is better in 3D bio-printing), and in the coming year the company expects to grow the size and viability of their 3D printed organs. … (Read more)

Source: Engineering.com

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