It’s a startling reality to learn that around 18 people that are waiting for donors die each day without the opportunity of receiving that vital organ they needed to stay alive. This is due to the large population numbers unaware of the many in need of an organ transplant. The good news is the number of people dying each day is close to be lowered with the help of 3D bio-printing.

There have been significant advancements in the area of bio-printing. The rate of advancements has been so fast that San Diego based company Organovo plans to unveil a 3D printed liver to the world some time later in this year.

3d printed liver cells


Bio-Printing works the exact same way as other forms of 3D printing work which is fusing layer upon layer to create a solid form. When Bio-Printing is used the scientists/researchers, “take  cells, living human cells, and place them into a 3D matrix that can then grow into tissue,” according to Keith Murphy, Organovo Chief Executive Officer.

The process is still in its exploratory stages in regards to creating a functioning vascular system, which has been one of the main stumbling blocks.

The difficulty of printing living cells is that they are prone to dying before they even get off the 3D printer table.

Here’s the thing, Organovo has said that they have made a major discover that has helped overcome the vascular problem, to a degree. They have been able to create a 3D printed liver tissue that can fully function, and survive for up to 40 days.

This is a massive breakthrough and Organovo are pursuing more ways they can make this tissue survive longer in order to be transplanted with success.

This type of science technology offers positive hope for those who need it the most. The many who are still on a long waiting list for a suitable donor might soon be able to get what they need, when they need it. 3D printing, in this case, is a technology pushing to save countless lives and brings hope where other technologies have failed.


Article Reference:

BioPrinted Human Tissue

How to Become an Organ Donor


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