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First 3D Printed Liver Expected In 2014

samzenpus posted about 7 months ago | from the drink-up dept.

Medicine 67

Lucas123 writes "After 3D printing has produced ears, skin grafts and even retina cells that could be built up and eventually used to replace defective eye tissue, researchers expect to be able to produce the first functioning organ next year. The organ, a liver, would not be for the purpose of human implant — that will take years to complete clinical trials and pass FDA review. Instead, the liver would initially be for development and testing of pharmaceuticals. The field of 3D printing known as organs on a chip, will greatly increase the accuracy and speed of drug development and testing, researchers say. The company producing the liver, Organovo, has overcome a major stumbling block that faces the creation of any organ: printing the vascular system needed to provide it with life-sustaining oxygen and nutrients. Typically, 3D printed tissue dies in the petri dish before it can even be used because of that. '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."

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67 comments

3D Printed Liver Expected In 2014 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45794335)

It was expected in 2013 until Yang stopped the printer to make the whatever tube to save the kid.

(No. I did not dare to post that ananonymously. I wouldn't hear the end of it.)

Re:3D Printed Liver Expected In 2014 (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 7 months ago | (#45796073)

Ah padawan, you appreciate your karma more if you gamble with it from time to time.

how soon before 3D printed clones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45794399)

And then 100% unemployment because Clone Resources make much better slaves than Human Resources.

CAPTCHA: affluent. You will not be affluent after the clones take your jobs.

Re:how soon before 3D printed clones (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 7 months ago | (#45798235)

Nah man, they'll never catch on. Do you have any idea how expensive it is to make a clone? Humans though - they're practically free, you couldn't stop them from self-replicating if you tried. Sure they get a little uppity from time to time, start talking about ridiculous things like "rights" and "freedom", but threatening to take away their TV privileges will usually shut them right up. And if not... well they're cheap, toss 'em all into the protein resequencer and get a fresh batch.

Good (4, Funny)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 7 months ago | (#45794423)

Now, how long we /.ers can print a wife?

Re:Good (1, Funny)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 7 months ago | (#45794427)

GAAH! *until we*

why you no edit /. ?

Re:Good (3, Informative)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 7 months ago | (#45794503)

Because Preview.

Re:Good (3, Funny)

Jawnn (445279) | about 7 months ago | (#45794629)

Why would you print out the whole thing?

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45803283)

Why would you print out the whole thing?

disgusting

Re:Good (2)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 7 months ago | (#45794753)

You can print it until the legs and half a brain are done, then wife will attempt to escape and seek divorce.
Or maybe I misunderstood the question :)

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45795745)

When other people refer to your real doll as your wife, they are just humoring you.

Re:Good (2)

misexistentialist (1537887) | about 7 months ago | (#45795973)

A warm slick liver is really all you need.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45797961)

A warm slick liver is really all you need.

Someone would disagree with you:

"To know death, Otto, you have to fuck life in the gall bladder!"

-- Baron Frankenstein, in Andy Warhol's Frankenstein (aka Flesh for Frankenstein)

Re:Good (1)

bkcallahan (2515468) | about 7 months ago | (#45806233)

You forgot to encase it in a wet shoebox.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45796703)

RTFA. There already printing breasts.

Re:Good (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 7 months ago | (#45797893)

Now, how long we /.ers can print a wife?

Why would you want one of those?? Hire a maid and find a "friend with benefits" and you don't have to put up with her nagging you and hiding your stuff ("well LOOK for it!") while spending your money. You can tinker with hardware and play video games and read and do anything you want.

A wife? No thanks. Now, my question is, why am I being discriminated against just because I'm single?

Fantastic! (5, Funny)

adolf (21054) | about 7 months ago | (#45794431)

3D printed livers?

Bottoms up, mates!

Re:Fantastic! (2)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 7 months ago | (#45794533)

A 500 micron thick liver isn't going to process much alcohol.
You're going to have to switch to non-alcoholic beer.

Re:Fantastic! (2)

adolf (21054) | about 7 months ago | (#45794617)

But imagine a Beowulf cluster of these things!

(Also: Penis bird, Natalia Portman and hot grits. Get off my lawn: You're stepping on my liver.)

Re:Fantastic! (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | about 7 months ago | (#45794687)

You forgot this meme, you insensitive clod!

Re:Fantastic! (1)

mpe (36238) | about 7 months ago | (#45794717)

A 500 micron thick liver isn't going to process much alcohol.Sounds even less impressive when you call it half a mm thick :) Of course this thin you'd never have anything which could be usefully transplanted into a human.

Re:Fantastic! (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 7 months ago | (#45794849)

Not yet. but could it be used to help heal a damaged liver? And how long before they can print blood vessels?

Re:Fantastic! (3, Informative)

MrLizard (95131) | about 7 months ago | (#45796195)

It's possible each layer printed can seamlessly connect to the next layer, given appropriate nutrients/conditions. I believe (bio class was a long time ago; I think it was when they were still teaching about the humours) that cells can communicate chemically and tell other cells, "hey, join up here". If all the correct cell types are in the mix, each layer should link up to form the necessary structures, especially if the focus is replacing damaged portions of an organ and not building the whole thing as one big lump.

It's too soon to say "Cirrhosis, shmirrohsis, I'll just buy a new liver at Wal-Mart[1]", but this step forward seems far from impractical.

[1]More socially-conscious types may prefer to shop at neighborhood businesses that produce locally-sourced organs printed using fair labor practices. But you'll pay more, and they're not open at 2 AM when you really NEED a new liver.

Re:Fantastic! (2)

Krishnoid (984597) | about 7 months ago | (#45794745)

A 500 micron thick liver isn't going to process much alcohol.

I suspect this individual [flickr.com] would disagree, and would heartily welcome this scientific advance.

Cheers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45795299)

n/t

News of the World (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about 7 months ago | (#45794541)

This site has turned into the successor to the News of the World.

Re:News of the World (4, Funny)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 7 months ago | (#45794599)

Yes, the News of the World was renowned for its stories on 3D printing and cutting-edge medicine. Why, barely a day would go by without finding the words "native phenotypic behavior" on practically every page.

Re:News of the World (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about 7 months ago | (#45794669)

You outta pre-order their 3d-printed brains with express shipping.

Re:News of the World (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45794755)

It makes sense. After all, The Register has turned into The Sun.

Re:News of the World (1)

TheloniousToady (3343045) | about 7 months ago | (#45795489)

This site has turned into the successor to the News of the World.

Coincidentally, putting that one together with the comment above about 3D-printing a wife yields a familiar lyric: "She's the kind of a girl that makes The News of the World / Yes, you could say she was attractively built".

So, presumably, Pam will be printed with polythene.

...could be...eventually.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45794611)

Let me know when they actually do it. I'll be excited then. I know it's "coming" but it's not news until you actually do it, Nobel Peace Prizes notwithstanding.

nearly there. (3, Insightful)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about 7 months ago | (#45794621)

Just need to print the bacon and you'll have a fine meal in no time.

new /. layout sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45794649)

mightily! what's going on here? it's like the dumbing down of the Internet, only worse!

Not impressed. (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 7 months ago | (#45794667)

When you can make me a glass of chianti and a side of fava beans with it, I'll be impressed.

Re:Not impressed. (1)

bmimatt (1021295) | about 7 months ago | (#45794943)

You've confused liver with brainz, dr. Lecter.

Re:Not impressed. (1)

CubicleZombie (2590497) | about 7 months ago | (#45795945)

It was liver [youtube.com] .

Re:Not impressed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45802279)

He hasn't, but that's still better than having shit for brains like you.

Re:Not impressed. (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 7 months ago | (#45804101)

No, you're thinking of Hannibal, in which there is a horrifying scene involving an alive and aware Ray Liotta watching a piece of his brain being cooked. A dozen years later and I still can't get that scene out of my head.

free the innocent stem cells (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45794731)

they've been around as long as any of us & already know what to do/how to heal us. never a better time to consider ourselves in relation to momkind our spiritual centerpeace. another option is to stop poisoning us with 'progress' of prosperitarism so we don't need new livers etc... every few years.

Re: free the innocent stem cells (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45796377)

If only they could print a functional brain for you dear scarecrow...

Um, so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45794765)

Why all the hoopla about it being "3D printed"? Would anyone care if it was injection molded instead? The "3D printing" part is just the last final step that's really the lowest tech part of the whole thing. We're not 3D printing the actual cells, or 3D printing it in the body, or 3D printing the immunosuppressant drugs.

Re:Um, so? (1)

HiThere (15173) | about 7 months ago | (#45802107)

Why would they need immunosuppressant drugs?

more like a 2D printed liver (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45794767)

at a thickness of 500 microns, that doesn't sound very 3D

Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45794941)

This printer best be fast, been waiting for a long time. Cheers!

Awesome (1)

advance-software (1770510) | about 7 months ago | (#45794959)

Just gotta figure out how to print bacon then that's dinner sorted.

What about skin? (2)

peragrin (659227) | about 7 months ago | (#45794973)

when will they come up with 3D printed skin for burn victims? Take a few skin cells clone them, and create huge sheets of skin for new grafts.

Re:What about skin? (2)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#45795239)

There's been work on that.

Skin grafts... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45795643)

They can take skin samples, grow the skin in a suspension gel, then literally spray healthy skin cells onto your body. The healthy cells grow into place, leaving barely a scar where you originally had horrifying burns. It's been done; we literally have skin-repairing spray guns, even if the technology is too experimental for widespread consumer use yet.

Skin grafts. Heh.

Re:Skin grafts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45798617)

Well, 3D printing itself is pretty old-fashioned, you can't expect these computer geeks to understand that biology already figured out these problems, we just need to understand how. In a few years we'll all be wondering what the fuss about 3D printing was for.

Livers? (1)

Dereck1701 (1922824) | about 7 months ago | (#45795031)

Isn't the Liver one of the easiest organs to transplant and least difficult to acquire? You can get simply cut off a moderate part of a living donors liver and sew it into a recipient and both livers will grow back to normal size within weeks. It sounds like it will practically grow itself with the right mixture of nutrients. At least start off with something a little more difficult, like a thyroid gland or a segment of skin.

Huge news (2)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#45795249)

The plan is to grow from people's own cells so they don't have to be on anti-immune drugs for the rest of their lives. Also you can live without a thyroid gland, not without a liver, and skin is being done by other teams.

Re:Huge news (2)

the gnat (153162) | about 7 months ago | (#45797397)

As an addendum to this, the anti-immune drugs themselves can kill the patient. "Least difficult to acquire" is also relative; the demand still exceeds the supply.

In other news... something really working (1)

advid.net (595837) | about 7 months ago | (#45795289)

Allow me to remind that a few days ago we had ...

Wold First In-Man Total Artificial Heart Implantation [slashdot.org]

I'm not that much disapointed that my own submission didn't made the headlines on /. , but at least someone should have made it to the top with this information.

Re:In other news... something really working (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45798535)

It might have been voted up if you'd at least proofread the TITLE. You misspelled a five letter word.

i'll drink to that :P (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45795531)

so now we can ruin our livers while printing a new one

Printable Pocket Pussies. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45795701)

I can see this selling really good on Adam & Eve.

And when is the 3D printed Onions coming? (2)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 7 months ago | (#45795721)

And when is the 3D printed Onions coming?

So does this mean we can.... (2)

3seas (184403) | about 7 months ago | (#45795913)

.... bring people back from death? Re: The Fifth Element.

Re:So does this mean we can.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45797023)

Well, they regenerated a complete body ( a lovely one, complete with dyed hair with natural roots--on her head, anyway ) from surviving tissue.

This is the same technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45796391)

that Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi want to ban.

The meaning of life (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45799321)

"Can we have your liver?" Never mind.

Darn it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45800145)

I was getting more and more excited I could start drinking in ernest again. Then the line about transplant not on the horizon.

What a let down.

Useless... (1)

trailerparkcassanova (469342) | about 7 months ago | (#45800483)

without 3D-printed onions.

cowards, take up the challenge !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45802911)

I bet you they dont have the guts to go through with this.

They may have to make them :D

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