When the name of organ transplants comes, there are various myths and misconception comes to our mind. In reality, organ transplants has made the process a cause of big headache for the thousands of people who have been unfortunate enough to need them. Let’s us know some sobering details:
- On an average, 22 people die every day just because of waiting for an organ.
- In order to get an organ transplant, a person's blood type, tissue type, and crossmatching etc needed to match up, leading some to have to wait longer than others.
-In just America about 1,20,000 people are on waiting list for organ transplant list.
- The most saddest part is that another name is added to national transplant waiting list in every next 10 min.
-A single deceased donor can save up to eight lives through organ donation and can save and enhance more than 100 lives through the lifesaving and healing gift of tissue donation. This just the value of a single organ donor.
- About 5,000 peoples donates organ every year. But One in four donors is not biologically related to the recipient.
-The buying and selling of human organs is illegal for transplants in America, but it is allowed for research purposes.
- While 95% of adults agree with organ transplants, only 48% have registered to donate.
While the situation definitely seems discouraging, there is finally some hope on the horizon for future.
The ITOP System
ITOP stands for Integrated Tissue and Organ Printing. In simple terms, it can be defined as A 3D bioprinting system for producing human-scale tissue constructs with structural integrity. Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have used this 3D ITOP system for 3D printing to make an ear, muscle structures, and bone which they have transplanted into animals. Further, these transplants have grown into fully developed tissue, created their own blood vessel systems, and gained in strength and size, proving the system functional.
A technique called decellularization is being used to create living, transplantable organs. In simple terms, it can be defined as the process used in biomedical engineering to isolate the extracellular matrix (ECM) of a tissue from its inhabiting cells, leaving an ECM scaffold of the original tissue, which can be used in artificial organ and tissue regeneration. This technique proves to be a god’s greatest gift. It can’t just save a life of millions but it is the hope to cure incurable and deadly diseases which human race is facing today. Stem cells from the patient are transferred to the structure and recreated into a new one, replacing what was washed away. This new tissue makes the organ less likely to be rejected by the patient's immune system. This can be done with organs obtained both from humans and pigs.
Modern 3D printers work by producing a large amount of heat or pressure, both of which could kill the organs they were printing. However, the 3D-Bioplotter, currently in use for research purposes at the University of Texas San Antonio, can print in bio-ink to create cells and tissue.
Bioprinting is the simplest way for deposting biomaterials such as proteins, cells and bio-gels 2D or 3D. The technology can be used in mimic biological systems that can be more closer and accurate to the actual living systems. According to expert reports, the ability to create organs for transplant patients with this machine is about a decade away.
But the hope of horizon now glimmers technological possibilities that previous generations didn't have. Medical science could soon make organ transplants land mark in history as organ replacements become common and successful.
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