Beer and liquor drinkers rejoice! The first 3D printed liver is scheduled to be “bio-printed” in 2014.
“We have achieved thicknesses of greater than 500 microns, and have maintained liver tissue in a fully functional state with native phenotypic behavior for at least 40 days,” said Mike Renard, executive vice president of commercial operations of San Diego company Organov, Computer World reported.
Printing human tissue is extremely difficult because of the oxygen and nutrients that cells constantly need to survive, but Organov insists it has succeeded in creating living tissue the thickness of five sheets of paper.
“It is too early to speculate on the breadth of applications that tissue engineering will ultimately deliver or on the efficacy that will be achieved,” Renard told Computer World.
While Mr. Renard’s comments may be meant to manage expectations, the success of Organov would be welcome news to those in need of organ transplants.
There are over 121,000 Americans who are awaiting organ transplants, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human services.
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