Patients needing transplants would soon ask doctors to ”print” new organs for them, it has been claimed.
The California-based regenerative medicine company Organovo has already unveiled a prototype machine capable of growing new arteries.
Company bosses believe the technology could be used to create new organs.
The machine is based on 3D laser printing technology used to make new machine parts for industry.
But instead of combining layers of plastic and metal, the “bioprinter” puts together living tissue.
Two laser-based printing heads are used to place living cells onto thin sheets of gel with microscopic precision.
Thereafter, multiple layers are laid on top of each other in a specially designed “scaffold” and the cells begin to fuse together.
“Ultimately the idea would be for surgeons to have tissue on demand for various uses,” the Telegraph quoted Organovo”s chief executive Keith Murphy, as saying.
Murphy added: “The best way to do that is get a number of bio-printers into the hands of researchers and give them the ability to make three dimensional tissues on demand.”