Need a new human organ? Just use your printer!
Using ordinary inkjet cartridges, a San Diego company can print living human cells. You heard it right! With this technology Organovo hopes to one day print complete human organs like kidneys and hearts!
Three-dimensional printing can be used to create almost anything. From clothing to sculptures to tools to furniture. Multiple layers of material are printed one atop another using a 3D digital map, manufacturing objects that once required sophisticated machining or complicated multi-stage processes. And today, what was once outlandish science fiction is quickly becoming reality: the automated creation of organic tissue.
Organovo fills inkjet cartridges with live cells and hydrogel, a material that provides a solid structure for the cells. After many layers are printed in succession, the cells bond and (hopefully) become a functioning organ. The hope is that one day, after years of human trials, complete organs can be easily constructed, greatly increasing the availability of organs for transplantation.
I wonder if I should send them my empty inkjet cartridges?