What if rather than using medicine or genes – or an organ donor – to treat a failing heart or liver, your doctor could simply replace those parts with organs that are nearly identical to the originals, made from your own cells? That dream is not as far-fetched as you might think.
Much of the revolution in regenerative medicine is being driven by 3-D printing, the use of specialized machines that can create tissue and organlike structures from a patient’s cells. Among the body parts now streaming from 3-D printers are blood vessels, livers and skin to heal wounds. At the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, researchers are using 3-D printing and other techniques to engineer more than 30 different replacement tissues and organs, including bladders, kidneys and, most recently, vaginas made from the cells of girls suffering from a rare genetic condition that causes reproductive organs to be underdeveloped.
(…weiter auf health.usnews.com)