Long Beach, California - A surgeon specialising in regenerative medicine on Thursday “printed” a real kidney using a machine that eliminates the need for donors when it comes to organ transplants.
“It's like baking a cake,” Anthony Atala of the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine said as he cooked up a fresh kidney on stage at a TED Conference in the California city of Long Beach.
Scanners are used to take a 3D image of a kidney that needs replacing, then a tissue sample about half the size of postage stamp is used to seed the computerised process, Atala explained.
The organ “printer” then works layer-by-layer to build a replacement kidney replicating the patient's tissue.
College student Luke Massella was among the first people to receive a printed kidney during experimental research a decade ago when he was just 10 years old.