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3D printed hearts ‘within a decade’

scientist at the University of Louisville in Kentucky believes the biological additive
manufacturing will proceed beyond facial implants and be able to create
custom-made hearts within a decade.

reports that Stuart Williams – who heads The Cardiovascular Institute, a partnership
between the University of Louisville and the city’s Jewish Hospital – admitted
the goal was an ambitious one but technology moved quickly.

“If you think when John F. Kennedy said, ‘We’ll put a man
on the moon, and bring him back by the end of the decade’, there were a lot of
people who laughed at that also, and that was pretty complex,” he told The Times.

team has made a “bio-assembly robot”, with which he has said could eventually
be used to create replacement hearts for under $US 100,000. The six-axis robot
is currently attempting to create components for hearts.

of the challenges is keeping these parts alive through synthetic blood.

complex organs such as the kidney and heart, a major challenge is being able to
provide the structure with enough oxygen to survive until it can integrate with
the body,” Dr Anthony Atala of Wake Forest University told AP earlier in the year.

Image: AP

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