Organovo is a bio-printing company based in San Diego. They have claimed to overcome the vascular issue to a degree and now expect to unveil the world’s first printed organ. A functioning human liver is to be released by the end of 2014.
The major problem in creating tissue has remained with manufacturing of the vascular system that is needed to provide it with life-sustaining oxygen and nutrients. Organovo’s researchers overcame the problem by bringing together fibroblasts and endothelial cells, which perform the function of developing tiny vascular networks, allowing the company to achieve thick tissue with good cell viability.
In November Organovo succeeded in bio-printing liver tissue that lasted 40 days in a dish. “We have achieved thicknesses of greater than 500 microns and have maintained liver tissue in a fully functional state with native phenotypic behavior for at least 40 days,” said Mike Renard, Organovo’s executive vice president of commercial operations.
However it will take years to make bio-printed livers suitable for human implant. The liver would have to complete clinical trials and pass a review by the food and Drug Administration (FDA), a process that can take three to ten years. “Instead, the liver would initially be used in the laboratory for medical studies and drug research.”
Sourced from http://www.3ders.org/articles/20131227-first-working-3d-printed-liver-expected-by-2014.html
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