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02 Dec 19
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2020 is looking like a promising year for Biomedical and Medical Engineering.
After being able to successfully 3D Bioprint on bone and skin, the goal of developing whole functioning organs such as livers, kidneys, or hearts, is becoming more of a reality with 2020 set to be the year Biomedical Engineers finally solve the increasing demand for organ transplants.
Bioprinting has come a long way over the last decade. The idea of printing human organs began in 1983 when Charles Hull invented stereolithography, a form of 3D printing technology used for creating products in a layer-by-layer fashion, typically used for the production of plastic car parts. However, it didn’t take long for Medical Engineers to catch on that this could be the be the next step in organ transplantation, taking biomaterials such as cells and growth factors to create tissue-like structures that imitate natural tissues; helping avoid complications associated with organ transplant, long waits on the donor list, or organ rejection.
The bioprinting technology is in its early stages with tests underway, but promising progress is being made. In America, researchers have successfully printed a heart however it is unable to pump any blood. The researchers are certain that rescaling the organs and getting them to beat should be achievable within the next 12 months.