The human body is very complex and made up of various and essential parts. Our organs each serve a specific function, and all work together to help us function daily. Could you imagine having one of your organs replaced with a 3D-printed replica? It may seem kind of far-fetched at the moment, but scientists are currently working to do just that.
Bioengineers at Rice University created entangled cardiovascular networks similar to the body’s natural passageways. The hydro-gel model of a lung mimicking air sac would ideally be able to deliver oxygen to surrounding blood vessels. Bagrat Grigoryan, a Bioengineering graduate, said "One of the challenges in our field is making large tissue blocks that have viable and functional cells, and we can make these tissue blocks pretty easily, but the challenge is actually maintaining the viability and functionality of cells inside them." Their goal is to make scalable tissues that could one day be implanted into humans. It is extremely impressive that scientists are able to utilize bio-printers and materials to make models of actual human organs. It will be even more impressive and exciting if doctors can utilize these 3D models to perform transplants of certain organs into the human body. Time will tell! Check out the video below to see the 3d printed model in action!