Doctors have developed 3D printing for living tissue and organs.
Researchers at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in the US have announced they have mixed live cells and a gel to print out living human body parts including jawbones, muscles and ears.
We are actually printing the scaffolds and the cells together,” Dr Anthony Atala of the Wake Forest University Institute for Regenerative Medicine, who led the study team told NBC News.
“We show that we can grow muscle. We make ears the size of baby ears. We make jawbones the size of human jawbones. We are printing all kinds of things.”
The team uses a 3D printer known as the Integrated Organ and Printing System (ITOP). Forming the shape of tissues with water-based ink, it holds cells and a series of microchannels allowing oxygen and nutrients to flow through.
At this stage, Atala’s team has a contract with the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine, which is looking for new ways to help military personnel injured in battle.
But this technology can and will eventually be used for anyone looking for new body parts like for example replacing a shattered jaw.