Scientists are getting close to a huge breakthrough in one of the most important medical fields, as vital organs could soon be 3D printed using embryonic stem cells.
The process was developed at Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University, and could provide a solution for those desperately waiting for kidneys, hearts and other vital organs.
The method has already been used to develop skin and bone marrow, but developing the complicated organs has provided some difficulties for the scientists.
The embryonic stem cells are able to transform into any type of cell the body needs, so the printed cells are layered together in order to create the vital organs.
“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that these cells have been 3D printed,” said Dr. Will Shu. “The technique will allow us to create more accurate human tissue models.
“In the longer term, we envisage the technology being further developed to create viable 3D organs for medical implantation from a patient’s own cells. This is the first step. There is tremendous progress in stem cell technology to turn the cell into the one you want.
“That’s why we think, in order to eventually grow any tissue or organ you would like, it is better to first master the technology.”
Many believe the technology will grow to the point where organ donation is a thing of the past, and all organs given to those in need will be printed.
James Gilbert | Elite.