3D Printing Organs: Tracheal Cartilage and Kidneys.

This video explains the major shortage our society has with the availability of organs, in the last 10 years the number of patients that require organs has doubled, while at the same time the actual number of transplants has barely gone up, creating a public health crisis. This video discusses the field of regenerative medicine and how it plans to solve this problem.  There are specific materials doctors can implant into the body such as stem cells that can regenerate or… actually 3D printing the organs.

One method described here is a patient presented with a diseased organ, the organs are then printed out of special materials based on this organ.

The biggest challenge described in the video is creating whole solid organs in their entirety such as a kidneys. The strategy is to take an xray, and to use 3D reconstruction and 3D imaging to view the patients kidney. The researchers then take this information and scan it into a 3D printer.  Developing more precise 3D printing technology is critical, to furthering this field.

Printing a 2-inch (5 cm) long section of windpipe takes less than two hours

Printing a 2-inch (5 cm) long section of windpipe takes less than two hours

Above is an example of Maker Bot 3D printers being used to create tracheal cartilage

Researchers at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have successfully created cartilage using a MakerBot 3D printer. The team made use of the technology to quickly and affordably prototype and refine the bioprosthesis, and even used it to create a low-cost bioreactor to facilitate the growth of the cells.

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