3D printing will reproduce body parts

07 May 2013

Author: Caroline Bergman Hart



University of Wollongong, NSW scientists are at the forefront of a medical revolution using 3D ‘printing’ to reproduce human body parts
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Researchers from the University’s Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) and St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, Victoria announced that they are just three years away from printing custom-made body parts, including muscle and nerve cells and cartilage. And in just over a decade, they believe will be possible to print human organs.

“It is already possible to print 3D biocompatible plastics and metals to manufacture patient-specific implants,” ACES Director Professor Gordon Wallace said.

 “Within a few years, we believe it will be possible to manufacture living tissues like skin, cartilage, arteries and heart valves using cells and biomaterials. Using a patient’s own cells to create this tissue avoids issues of immune rejection. By 2025, it is feasible that we will be able to fabricate complete functional organs, tailored for an individual patient.”

Professor Wallace said 3D printing, or additive fabrication, uses machines to build 3D objects layer-by-layer from digital data.

Read further coverage in the International Business Times