I’ve said it before, you can 3D print pretty much everything these days. It’s only a question of time before functional organs are being 3D printed. The main problem, besides getting the cells right; is the fact that if you try to 3D print a lung, heart or other organ, it will collapse halfway through.
Scientists have solved this part of the problem by 3D printing in a gel. Pretty cool!
Of course this isn’t the only problem to overcome, so for the time being it’s limited to printing funny looking squiggles. Albeit I can’t imagine 3D printed jellyfish are far behind.
“They’ve made, I think, a significant advance,” says Jennifer Lewis of Harvard. “It’s a beautiful piece of work.” One of the limitations, she says, is that so far the gel is not organic, so it couldn’t keep 3D-printed tissue alive.