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Organs may someday be printed inside people

Lucas Mearian | May 22, 2015
The goal is to take advantage of the body's natural ability to incubate and promote cell reproduction.

Printing tissue with enough vascular and scaffold support to replace organs using an in-vivo method is still 15 or more years away, Warren said. In the maintime, Sanofi Pasteur has, he said, successfully created a mock-up of one vascular system.

The company reproduced a lymph node using artificial substrates. Actual lymph nodes are an important part of the body's immune system, filtering out foreign particles and even cancer cells.

Being able to reproduce a lymph node artificially means the company has conquered the ability to map out the system; now it needs to apply living cells to that, Warren said.

Bioprinting systems of the future should be focused on combining many processes in a similar way to how some computer systems combine many technologies into one.

"I think with bioprinting in 20-plus years, we'll see the same thing where we have all these tools and all these instruments and minimally invasive surgery with a simple bioprinting tool," Warren said. "It's really about taking multiple things and integrating them all into one."

 

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