Researchers from the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina have 3D-printed functioning, tiny versions of hearts and lungs.
The age of 3D-printed organs is now upon us!
In the picture above, the dark object represents the liver and the pale gray objects mimic the heart, produced by “reprogramming human skin cells into heart cells, which were then clumped together in a cell culture,” explains New Scientist.
After deciding on the proper size and shape of the organs, 3D-printing techniques were utilized to create cellular blobs that measure merely 0.01 of an inch in diameter.
In the end, the ultimate goal is to eventually be able to use a series of these 3D-printed organs to create a not only realistic, but accurate model of the human body for drug testing.
Scientists could then utilize the 3D-printed organs to test new therapies quicker, eliminating the need for animal testing.