To address both problems at once, a team of Japanese researchers are developing a new 3D printer that’ll allow them to print body parts and organs at the whim.
“Tsuyoshi Takato, a professor at the University of Tokyo Hospital, said his team had been working to create ‘a next-generation bio 3D printer’, which would build up thin layers of biomaterials to form custom-made parts.” – Phys.org
Their next step is in addressing the issue of heating from conventional 3D printers, which would damage living cells and proteins. Though they claim they have a few models in the works and will test them out as soon as possible.
As noted before, with the advent of 3D bio printing will come the proliferation of organ donations and open-access, all while abolishing both organ transplant waiting lists and the body-snatching crimes that came as a result. Soon the worry of needing an organ transplant will be null, as patients will simply need to provide stem cells to help print a new set of healthy organs on the go.
Organs won’t just be the only thing in open-access for patients in need, but so will actual limbs – arms, legs, bones, etc. If you think prosthetic technology is amazing today, just you wait and see what 3D bio printers will print up for you, especially since the design of each limb will simply be limited by the limitations of your imagination. With this will come the launch of body shops – similar to tattoo and piercing shops – where people will be able to walk in and pick out a new body part for them to try on.
Photo Credit: Phys.org