Close to the future: NASA will print artificial organs in space

Through a challenge released in 2016, NASA will push scientists to make artificial organs a reality.

July 9, 2021

The results of 3D printers have been impressive for years, but printing human tissue is the next step for NASA. The two finalist teams from the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, aimed to create human organ tissue in a lab, this had to be similar enough, strong and durable for at least 30 days, and they achieved it, an advance for the study of artificial organs and bioengineering.

The teams had to take two different approaches and methods to replicate a functional tissue that fulfilled all the functions of a human tissue, in the end they both agreed to print it in three dimensions. A study of this magnitude allows us to take the next step towards the creation of functional organs for transplantation.

Laura Niklason, a professor of anesthesia and biomedical engineering at Yale University, stated, “The biological effects of low gravity are becoming more and more important, especially as the world is considering private and commercial space travel, and this is a great tool to help us understand it.”

NASA has a breakthrough in studies of the creation of organic tissue under microgravity and with this collaboration, they are one step away from solving the long waiting times that patients have to receive an organ, as well as more alternatives to regenerative and tissue medicine.

The winning team of the challenge will have the opportunity to continue their research on the International Space Station (ISS) as well as a bonus of $300,000. They certainly have an exciting and difficult task for the future of artificial organs.

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