DEC 19, 2017 04:51 PM PST

Can we Mass-produce Organs for Patients Anytime Soon?

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

It has been said that one day we may be able to simply grow new organs on demand for patients who are in need. Already, some basic tissues have been grown for transplant and there are a small number of people who have received transplants of artificial bladders. The vast majority of transplant organs still come from the deceased, however, and a few come from living donors.

However, is it realistic to think that we could manufacture complex organs for use in the clinic one day? Around 30,000 people received a transplant last year, and that still leaves about 100,000 people waiting for a transplant at any given time. The video takes a closer look at the question of how soon it may be before we can farm new organs for those waiting patients.

Scientists have grown simplified versions of human organs for use in the lab from stem cells, and that has advanced research; these simple models stand in for animal models or human patients, who aren't often available as research subjects. These so-called organoids aren't quite ready for transplantation though, and scientists are continuing to try to grow more complicated structures, as well as getting blood vessels to reach them.

We are likely still decades away from producing organs for transplantation on a large scale.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
JUL 12, 2018
Videos
JUL 12, 2018
Some Medicines are Made From Animal Toxins
If you’ve spent any time camping or hiking, you’ve probably got a good idea of what animals are dangerous. Snakes and other reptiles that bite ...
JUL 13, 2018
Technology
JUL 13, 2018
Watch: HEXA Robot Takes Care of Plants
This spider-like robot will shift your succulent plants into sunlight or shade....
JUL 19, 2018
Videos
JUL 19, 2018
The Transition to Multicellular Life May Have Been Simple
It may have been relatively easy for complex organisms to form from one-celled microbes, researchers suggest....
AUG 05, 2018
Videos
AUG 05, 2018
Watch a Bird Take Flight in Super-Slow Motion
Many of us watch birds take off into flight right before our eyes every day, but it happens so quickly that we don’t get a chance to observe the mech...
AUG 08, 2018
Videos
AUG 08, 2018
A Harbinger of Hope for Alzheimer's Patients?
The search for effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease is ongoing, but overall, hasn’t been productive. Many companies, like pharmaceutica...
AUG 10, 2018
Videos
AUG 10, 2018
Why Cuttlefish are Called Chameleons of the Sea
Did you know that cuttlefish can change color, texture, and shape? Did you know they contain a bone called the cuttlebone? There is a reason why they are c...
Loading Comments...