Humanity doesn’t have enough spare organs. Let’s make some.
That’s the guiding principle behind the work of Gabor Forgacs, a pioneer in bioprinting and founder of Organovo, which specialises in the field of making human tissue to order. The technology for printing, say, a working human heart isn’t quite there yet, but as Forgacs told the WIRED2015 audience at London’s Tobacco Dock, the science is sound and it’s only a matter of time before lab-printed replacements are a medical reality.
Of the tens of thousands of patients that require organ transplants each year, only a (very) rough 10 percent receive them. There simply aren’t enough donors, or matches, to go around. Forgacs aims to plug that gap using a process that can grow the building blocks of new organs.