Gee Whiz Technology Delivers 3D Printed Liver

In contrast to the disappointment of technology around the federal health insurance exchange website, news comes that a San Diego start-up company has created a 3D printed liver that lasted for 40 days. The researchers have not mastered the ability to integrate blood vessels into the printed liver, so it cannot stay alive and healthy indefinitely.

The company, Organovo, hopes to be able to use slices of 3D printed livers to test drugs on human tissue without risking harm to humans within the next year.

And then there is the challenge of organ implantation.

Several years ago, CSG members attending the CSG-South annual conference in Winston-Salem, N.C., toured laboratories at Wake Forest University and got a peek at this technology. They learned of the early use of 3D printing in medicine. But still, who could have imagined that someday a 3D printed liver made from a patient’s own stem cells might be implanted without risk of rejection?