Very few up-and-coming innovations excite people the way 3-D printing does, whether you’re talking about its current capabilities or its amazing potential. Now that technology has met “soft” needs such as communication and information-gathering, the next step is creating technology capable of manipulating the physical world — a capability that 3-D printing in medicine seems to already display. The technology is already simplifying, expediting, and improving medicine in astounding ways, and has even more impressive advancements on the horizon.
Apart from creating custom body part replacements such as limbs, skin, and bones, researchers have also begun to successfully implant “living” 3-D-printed tissue into test animals. This technology is still in the testing stage of development. However, there is already talk of 3-D-planted internal organs such as kidneys, which would effectively end the demand, waiting lists, and excruciating vetting and selection processes of the organ donor industry when perfected.
3-D-printed organs aren’t just close to realization, but they’re already here. They will be used in human patients sooner than many of us think. Suitable materials for the process are already being developed, bringing the future that much closer to patients, providers, and facilities around the world, though the printing and implant process will naturally need much more research, testing, and approval.
3-D-printed arms, bones, skin, and organs sound so astounding, it’s almost unbelievable yet real. And while the full potential of 3-D printing in medicine has yet to be unlocked, it’s already changing the healthcare industry and the lives of millions of people who will benefit from these medical printing procedures.