A tiny liver is made using a 3D printer.
The magic of 3D printing continues to revolutionize our ability to make stuff.
Scientists at Organovo in San Diego recently employed the technology to make a functioning liver, albeit a really tiny one.
Their hope is that future versions will produce pieces that are viable for transplant. The ultimate goal is to create a full-sized one.
To make the prototype the team loaded up a 3D printer with cells extracted from tissue left over from operations and biopsies.
20 layers later they had a one-half by 4 millimeter working organ. Even better the liver can live for up to 5 days, more than double the lifespan of a regular one.
Some scientists believe that bioprinted organs and tissues may become a realistic option in as little as the span of one generation.
Two areas already utilizing 3D printing are dentistry and prosthetics.
Dental fabrication includes crowns, bridges, and implants.
Doctors and engineers in Netherlands recently made huge advances in 3D printer generated prosthetics when they manufactured and implanted a lower jawbone.