Scientists 3D print working mouse ovaries as the journey to bioprinting for humans continues

Example of what a 3d bioprinter might look like (Courtesy of ExplainingTheFuture.com)

Although 3D printing is one of the more interesting inventions we've seen recently, it's generally been limited to creating various knick-knacks from sites like Thingiverse. That said, throughout the years we've seen some cool results, from printing food (Star Trek replicator, anyone?), to printing a fully functional concert flute, but none of these things are life changing. That started to change when we reported from SXSW that companies were making real progress on bioprinting, using 3D printers with cells embedded in biogel to print real organs.

Now, based on an NPR report, scientists have successfully used 3D printing to create entirely new ovaries, albeit for mice. The printed organs were implanted into the mice, blood vessels automatically attached to the new organ, and three of the seven were able to support healthy offspring. While it's no guarantee that the same process will work with humans, scientists are optimistic that it will, which could allow women who have had cancer to still have their own biological children.

We're clearly still a long way away from being able to print human organs, but many believe that within 20 years we will see the technology evolve to that point.

Source: NPR

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