Now 3D-Printed Livers are a Thing

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We already know that 3D printers are primed to start a revolution in how we access goods and services. If you’ve been in the dark about these amazing little devices, just imagine a printer that can whip up just about anything you can imagine, provided you have the raw materials and the blueprint. It’s sort of like what the MP3 player did for music only, well, about everything else. But sure, they can make trinkets, but they can make actually useful stuff? Word on the street is, yes.  There have already been reports of these printers making ear replacements and, heck, NASA is working on a way to get them to make pizza. What’s next? 3D-printed livers of course.

The liver, as we all know, is a very important instrument. It regulates all of the junk we put in our poor, suffering bodies. When these break down it can cause serious health issues and, eventually, death. Thus, liver replacements are kind of a big deal. However, one cannot always get the liver their body needs. That’s where 3D-printing comes in. A San Francisco-based startup called Organovo has claimed to have fully functioning livers made entirely by a 3D printer. Sound like science fiction? Sure, but it can also be science fact.

The main drawback of this procedure? These livers seem to only work for 40 days, which means a life full of constant surgery. This could also make up the plot of a great action flick. “Jason Statham only has 40 days to find a new liver..or else.” In any event, the tech is still in its infancy and it will be a while before human trials, much less prescriptions at the liver specialist. We’ll let you know more when we know more.