Researches are developing 3D printers that print out functional human organs. Of course the process is complicated and still in the beginning stages of development. But the idea is not far fetched or impossible. “For instance, in 2012, a 3D-printed titanium jaw was implanted into an 83-year-old woman, while a man in the US has been walking around with a 3D-printed plastic skull since 2013.”
Thus far, there have been quite a number of semi-successful attempts at printing organs. We say semi-successful because most of them aren’t functional, or they survive just a few days. Organovo, for instance, created a mini human liver that actually works — except it lasts only 40 days.
A team from the University of Louisville, on the other hand, successfully printed heart valves and small veins in April, with hopes of making a functional heart using a patient’s cells in the future. Let’s not forget those Cornell bioengineers who crafted that faux ear (which works just fine, by the way) out of living cells and injectable gels.