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Bioprinting

March 17, 2011

Modified dot-matrix printers could be used to print replacement tissues and organs.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Printing new organs…I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

HIRSHON:

Organ transplants are often hard to come by, and there’ s a high likelihood of rejection. But in the future, it may be possible to literally print some tissues and even organs out on a printer. Cornell roboticist Hod Lipson says 3D printers that resemble dot matrix printers already exist, and they’re being modified to deal with human cells.

HOD LIPSON (Cornell University):

Imagine that you could take cells from a torn meniscus cartilage in the knee, culture them, make more cells, put them in a special ink that’s biologically compatible, then print a three dimensional new meniscus from those cells and then implant it back into the person that had the torn meniscus to begin with.

HIRSHON:

He says it may never be possible to print something as complex as an eye, but that someday a body scan could provide the blueprints for replacing organs when they’re needed.  I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.