Australian Scientists on the Verge of Medical Breakthrough: Reproducing Body Parts Through 3D Printing

Australian experts believe in a few years's time it will be possible to reproduce living tissues like skin, cartilage, heart valves, etc.
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Can human body parts be reproduced?

By using 3D printing to duplicate a person's own cells, human body parts can be constructed. That is the belief of some Australian scientists who are now on the verge of completing such ambitious medical breakthrough.

These scientists are from the St. Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) in Wollongong.

Gordon Wallace, a professor and director at ACES, believes that it won't be long now before living tissues like skin, cartilage, arteries and heart valves can be manufactured using cells and biomaterials.

He sees a major benefit from the breakthrough as "using a patient's own cells to create this tissue avoids issues of immune rejection."

"By 2025, it is feasible that we will be able to fabricate functional organs, tailored for an individual patient," he disclosed.

Various medical challenges could be solved and addressed by the technology, among them, the development of bionic devices, nerves, muscle and bone regeneration, as well as the detection and control of epilepsy.

According to Mr Wallace, research on the project will be beefed up next month with St. Vincent Hospital launching an additive biofabrication unit. St. Vincent is the first hospital in Australia to house such kind of facility.

"This will out our scientists and engineers in direct contact with clinicians on a daily basis. This is expected to fast-track the realisation of practical medical devices and the reproduction of organs," he concluded.

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