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Biotech Medicine Science

Kidney Printer 147

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the hella-spendy-ink-cartridges dept.
smitty777 writes "Dr. Anthony Atala of the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine demonstrated his technique for printing a new kidney. The early stage technology involves scanning the patient's current organ, and actually printing the organ directly into the patient. He refutes reported claims that it's just a kidney shaped mold, as reported by some. While still in the early stages, it does hold promise that we will be able to use this technology for actual transplants in the future."
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Kidney Printer

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  • How this works (Score:5, Interesting)

    by currently_awake (1248758) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @02:05PM (#35421092)
    You take an inkjet printer, load the tank with (organ specialized) human cells and print the organ layer by layer with a filler material to hold it all together. The best source of human cells would be stem cells(made from that person to prevent immune system hazards), though taking cells from an existing kidney might work in some cases. It would work best done outside the body at least till the glue dries. Should work for most of the organs in the human body, including muscle and tendons. stem cell research is almost at the point this can be done, eliminating the need for donor organs. In theory this would work for bones as well, allowing you to print an arm or leg. In about 25 years we'll have the stem cell/printer tech to print a whole person with this tech (or build an android that looks/feels the same), though i'm sure that will be banned by the religious extremists. If AI ever works techno-nerds living in their parents basements will finally .
  • How it really works (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ddd0004 (1984672) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @03:26PM (#35422102)

    It gets the command to print a new kidney.
    It reports that it will be ready it 48 hours.
    It flies down to Mexico.
    Some unsuspecting tourist wakes up in a bathtub of ice.
    You get a new kidney.

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