3D Printing An Organ – Live Onstage at TED

Anthony Atala: Printing a human kidney

Well, we have been hearing about the 3D printing of organs for a while — and there are reports that a MakerBot Operator with a heavily modified Cupcake is engaging in this very work: printing plastic scaffolding for stem-cell “curing” of organs.1

Here is a great talk about the present practice and future potential of 3D bioprinting.

And here is a great link to read more about the program exploring this technology.

  1. Or as Marty in the Botcave has just said it — “rafting an organ on a 3D printer.” []
Tagged with , , , , , 8 comments

8 Comments so far

  • schmarty
    March 8, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    This is probably the first blog post ever to be tagged “rafting an organ”.

    Now this has me thinking about skeinforge algorithms for a dual-extruder with plastic and “organ gunk” toolheads.

  • Twotimes
    March 8, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    If you click the link, it says that he printed a form for the kidney to grow in at the TED conference. He didn’t print an actual kidney. Still really cool!

  • Matt
    March 8, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    That’s what Marty meant by “rafting an organ.” Still, essentially this is the 3D printing stage of manufacturing an organ, and it was more fun to label it this way. ;-)

  • Donald Pelton
    March 8, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    As for “Rafting an Organ” I recall seeing where someone made a synthetic ear with real cloned cell skin.

  • Matt
    March 9, 2011 at 7:16 am

    And they used the term “rafting an organ?” Pretty interesting stuff. Well, there is also “grafting an organ.”

  • CLF
    March 9, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Is this truly a makerbot rp machine? Does anyone know if there have been any published articles outlining the use of this equipment for biomedical scaffold printing?

  • Matt
    March 10, 2011 at 11:57 am

    The 3D printer printing the kidney shell isn’t a MakerBot — but there are biotech teams who have purchased MakerBots and are using them in this sort of research. The thing is — a lot of this research is pretty close-door kinda stuff given that it is a hot direction for biotech, so these teams don’t tell us what they are doing. We only hear that they are doing this from the rumors passed back our way.

  • Toner Cartridge
    September 20, 2011 at 3:00 am

    I think, 3-D printers have the potential of creating many jobs and opportunities. but 3D printing materials for investment casting tend to yield sporadically rough surfaces.


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