3D printed organ transplants have been in the cards for a while, but deep tissue printing has proved problematic. Now a team of scientists in Korea think they have cracked the code for producing functional liver tissue by printing functional mouse liver cells.
Simply put, we need more livers than we currently have as hepatitis, cirrhosis and liver cancer are increasingly prevalent. The donor system, meanwhile, is inherently flawed.
Patients face agonizing treatment while they wait for a suitable liver. There is simply no guarantee they will get a matching organ in time and even if they do, there can be serious complications with the recipient’s immune system rejecting the new organ.