5 Body Parts Scientists Can 3-D Print


Team: Wake Forest Institute For Regenerative Medicine

How It’s Made: A 3-D bioprinter deposits multiple types of kidney cells-cultivated from cells taken by a biopsy-while simultaneously building a scaffold out of biodegradable material. The finished product is then incubated. The scaffold, once transplanted into a patient, would slowly biodegrade as the functional tissue grows.

Benefit: An estimated 80 percent of patients on organ-transplant lists in the U.S. await kidneys. Bioprinted kidneys are not yet functional, but once they are, the use of a patient’s own cells to grow the tissue means doctors will someday be able to provide every recipient with a perfect match.

Courtesy Wake Forest Institute For Regenerative Medicine

Tissue engineers have begun to print a variety of body parts. Here’s what the operating room of the future may hold.


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