The Printed Organs Coming to a Body Near You
April 15, 2015
(Nature) – The advent of three-dimensional (3D) printing has generated a swell of interest in artificial organs meant to replace, or even enhance, human machinery. Printed organs, such as a prototype outer ear developed by researchers at Princeton University in New Jersey and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, will be on the agenda at the Inside 3D Printing conference in New York on 15–17 April. The ear is printed from a range of materials: a hydrogel to form an ear-shaped scaffold, cells that will grow to form cartilage, and silver nanoparticles to form an antenna. The device is just one example of the increasing versatility of 3D printing.