Thanks for your comments, sdoyle. Re: the nose, I think they actually can treat the artificial nose with something so it can change skin tone, so maybe the person who has it can do that as their skin changes during different months. Or maybe, as you said, they can just wear lots of SPF. As far as the liver goes, it's not ready for prime time, but they did manage to 3D fabricate liver tissue that is fully functioning, yes. I found that incredible as well!
As far as the 3D appendage as body art...I suppose we shall see where this trend will take us! I can't imagine people who didn't have prosthetic legs wanting to dress up the ones they already have (as we can do that with clothes already, but the miind boggles...and you never know.
I can't wait for the bioprinted liver to be real. I had a transplant two years ago and am doing well, but I'd love to get off the immunosuppressants I have to take twice a day for as long as I wish to live.
Nice article. This technology is going crazy. I did a short presentation on it a month ago and I can't believe how fast things are changing. If you want to see more. Look up Dr. Anthony Atala on YouTube. He is at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. He has some TED talks on there that explain how they do all of this. Pretty awesome stuff.
That atificial nose is amazing. But when I read that they matched the skin tone I immediatly thought that the nose might look funny during the summer/winter months after more or less sun expsure to the face. I imagine the person with that nose would be using high-spf stuff on the face that to remedy that however.
I was shocked that they already have a fully-functional 3D printable liver. That is mind-blowing. How many people could go back to normal lives with that kind of technology making livers readily available? Such long lists of people waiting for various organs, that something like this could truly transform medicine as we know it.
The other thought I had as I was reading the part about the customizable appendages, was how long will it be before a typical boday is considered "less" than one with customized appendages/organs. Legs/arms/etc could/will become fashion accessories and methods to get an upper edge on the standard human body. Will there be articles decrying how teenagers are volunteering to have their legs removed so that they can use the artificial legs because they are so much cooler? There are already an increasing number of people that are into "body art", I can only imagine that being an extension of that to some degree.
Seems nothing short of miraculous with nearly unlimited up-side including making absurdly expensive medical procedures far more mainstream. I definitely would like to understand the process a bit better as the term "printing" is pretty clearly overloaded. Thus far, technology in medicine has helped improve quality and quantity of life, but raised costs (my wife's one night stay in hospital was $28K and that did not include doctor, anesthesiologist, yada yada). Would love to see technology improve q&q AND bring costs down.
What really surprised me, Al, is that this stuff is happening now. Some of these surgeries have actually taken place! Incredible. I thought this type of thing was far more futuristic but obviously, I am wrong. And it can only get more sophisticated from here.
I know, that nose is unbelievable, isn't it? It looks like they just lopped it off someone's face! (Sorry, maybe I've been watching too many gangster dramas!) Honestly, though, if they can reproduce parts like this using 3D printing, then that will be incredible for people who need them.
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