Organ transplants are a vital part of medical treatment all around the world. In many cases of major organ failures, these transplants turn out to be the sole hope for the patients. Researchers are now working on printing an actual 3D kidney, an effort which may eventually lead them to ‘create’ organs which could be used for transplants.
Only a few weeks ago, scientists were able to achieve a major breakthrough when they were able to ‘manufacture’ a kidney within the laboratory. This kidney was then transplanted in animals to test out how well it functioned within a living body.
The results of the experiment proved quite encouraging since the transplanted kidney functioned normally. The cells within the body of the animals who were transplanted with the kidney were able to link up with the kidney and grow the related structures.
Scientists hope that in the coming days, similarly ‘manufactured’ organs could be used for human transplants, a prospect which may solve a huge problem. Currently, thousands of people are on the waiting list of organ transplants, waiting for someone to donate the organ that they need for the transplant. Once these organs could be manufactured, they would essentially help out these thousands of people.
The latest breakthrough is that scientists are currently working on a 3D printer which can actually print 3D kidneys. While this portion of the research is still in a very early stage, the researchers have had some success. The idea is to print a kidney layer by layer and then connect these layers to give it an overall, complete look.