2014 may bring us the world's first 3D printed organ

There are many industries where 3D printing could prove revolutionary but few more so than the biomedical industry. People are dying every day while they wait for organ transplants that never come. 3D printing could cchange that. While 3D printed organs are still being plagued by a multitude of problems, numerous organizations like Organovo are hard at work trying to perfect the technology. In fact, the world’s first, working, 3D printed organ is expected to be created in 2014.

Approximately 18 people die every day waiting for an organ transplant. But that may change someday sooner than you think—thanks to 3D printing. Advances in the 3D printing of human tissue have moved fast enough that San Diego-based bio-printing company Organovo now expects to unveil the world’s first printed organ—a human liver—next year. Like other forms of 3D printing, bio-printing lays down layer after layer of material—in this case, live cells—to form a solid physical entity—in this case, human tissue. The major stumbling block in creating tissue continues to be manufacturing the vascular system needed to provide it with life-sustaining oxygen and nutrients.

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