Technology and health have always had an inverse relationship, especially with the advancements in technology that have been made. These advancements have produced major impacts on the health and of many people in the world, whether it be keeping them safe, or helping them recover from an accident. A growing problem with this advancement in safety has been with transplants and organ donors. Although people who are living donate organs too, many people fail to realize that a lot of organs being donated come from people who are deceased. Since technology has been keeping people safer and safer the supply for organs has gone down, until recent.
The introduction of the 3D printer might be one of the greatest inventions ever made, having an impact on not only the technology world, but the medical world as well. In recent events, it has been founded that 3D printers can now print structures of organs that are injected with live cells, that will allow those cells to form tissue and ultimately a working organ. This is a huge step because it saves the lives of people on the transplant list and makes the list shorter as well. This is only the first step. Soon 3D printers will be able to print not just tissues and organs, but bones and cartilage as well (TheEconomist).
I personally believe that this will have nothing but a positive impact on the world and the people in it. Being able to use a printer will not only save the lives of millions, but allow other people to keep their organs as well, and this is only now. In the near future researchers are expecting this technology to be capable of fixing errors of babies that are still in the womb and people who have chronic organ failures ( TheEconomist). Because of this it will change the way hospitals operate, the way businesses invest in healthcare and how they do it. In the article it is mentioned how “ Johnson & Johnson, a large American health-care company, is so convinced that bioprinting will transform parts of medical practice that it has formed several alliances with interested academics and biotechnology firms” which proves an exciting time for not just the medical world but world of business as well. It will be interesting to see if this will be able to help Johnson & Johnson create jobs for Americans and will hopefully help them back up since the last year alone they cut 6% of jobs regarding medical devices (WSJ).
Many people tend to second guess the thought of having an organ in them was created by a machine, but there should be no worry. Since the 2000’s there have been many tests that tested if it were possible that the cells would be able to form a tissue that is not only compatible but functional. A few companies around the world including “ Organovo, a firm in San Diego, announced in December that it had transplanted printed human-liver tissue into mice and that the tissue had survived and worked” and this is one company of many (TheEconomist). Companies have successfully printed ovaries and parts of an artery as well and placed them in animals and the results have concluded success and functioning organs.
It is clear that this the 3D printing organs is a big step towards a new way of looking at the medical field. Once it was discovered that cells could successfully be injected by the inkjets, it was only a matter of time until the art of making organs was perfected. Now we use what we have to help, and wait for the next major break through with 3D printing. Who knows, maybe 3D printing will invite a new field of jobs or a new system of organ donning . What comes next can be anything from parts of the knee to even bones. Until then be on the lookout for more success with bioprinting.