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BU Research on 3-D Printing of Organs

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By Jason Weinstein.
The current way to create organs and tissue in a lab is a long process using stem cells that subjects the patient to the risk of rejecting the organ. But research at Binghamton University is working on technology that would allow 3-D printers to create tissue and organs using a patient's own cells.

"Within one day possibly a whole new organ from the patient's own cells is built up layer by layer, step by step," said Binghamton University PhD student Kyle Reeser.

"(Some treatment of) diabetes, cancer, and also heart disease all rely on organ transplantations," said Kaiming Ye, Chair of the Binghamton University Biomedical Engineering department.

Ye says the technology could help create not just organs but also what are called islet cells to treat diabetes and valves to treat heart disease.

"There are hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world and thousands in America who die every day, every year waiting for organs, waiting for transplants, waiting for tissue," said Reeser.

Reeser says we are years away from doctors being able to implant these personalized, on-demand organs. But the human organ equivalents - or organoids - the 3-D printers can create could revolutionize drug screening.

"What we'll be able to do is point out one, or ten, or 100 of these organ-like constructs and test for a variety of diseases. We can test a variety of medications on them," said Reeser.

Steps along the way to the ultimate goal of printing life-saving organs ready for implantation.

"Whether it's next year, ten years from now, 30 years from now, nobody is going to die from not having access to an implantable organ," said Reeser.

Ye has received a $300,000 grant from the national science foundation, which he hopes to use to increase the number of potential for islet cell transplants.

****In Vestal, Jason Weinstein, FOX 40 HD News****