Researchers hope to 3D print human organs

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Dr. Anthony Atala, director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and senior author on the study expressed hope that “with further development, this technology could potentially be used to print living tissue and organ structures for surgical implantation.” Researchers implanted muscle tissue and bones in rats with promising results. They believe in the chance to do such interventions in humans, for patients with battlefield injuries, in the future. Even heart valves could be printed in 3D. The researchers found that stem cells with enormous potential can be harvested from the amniotic fluid of pregnant women. Such cells can be manipulated to differentiate into various types of mature cells that make up nerve, muscle, bone, and other tissues. Over ten applications of technologies developed in Dr. Atala’s laboratory have been used clinically.

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