Could 3D Printing mean no more organ waiting lists?

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YounesB
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Do you think that at one point, 3D Printing will be a main source of organs for patients who need them?

http://www.journeytomedicine.com/#!3dprinting/c1qar

Read that ^
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Chlorophile
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(Original post by YounesB)
Do you think that at one point, 3D Printing will be a main source of organs for patients who need them?

http://www.journeytomedicine.com/#!3dprinting/c1qar

Read that ^
Possibly, but humans are infamously bad at predicting the future and I can think of plenty of other technologies (like 3D printing organs) which people have been talking about for a long time yet they don't seem to be showing any sign of materialising.
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YounesB
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(Original post by Chlorophile)
Possibly, but humans are infamously bad at predicting the future and I can think of plenty of other technologies (like 3D printing organs) which people have been talking about for a long time yet they don't seem to be showing any sign of materialising.

3D printing has started to be used in hospitals...just not for organs yet.

I think it'll take some more time and research before it's actually used.
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Chlorophile
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(Original post by YounesB)
3D printing has started to be used in hospitals...just not for organs yet.

I think it'll take some more time and research before it's actually used.
There's an absolutely massive difference between using 3D printing as a scaffold for simple structures and actually printing fully functioning organs. I'm not saying that it's impossible, just that there's absolutely no point in expecting 3D printed organs to come to humanity's salvation because it's not a technology that exists yet. If it works then that's wonderful but until then, we need to focus on technologies that actually work.
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YounesB
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(Original post by Chlorophile)
There's an absolutely massive difference between using 3D printing as a scaffold for simple structures and actually printing fully functioning organs. I'm not saying that it's impossible, just that there's absolutely no point in expecting 3D printed organs to come to humanity's salvation because it's not a technology that exists yet. If it works then that's wonderful but until then, we need to focus on technologies that actually work.

This is why I am saying it could be the way forward. I'm not saying that organ donations should stop because we have this potential alternative but rather I'm saying could 3D Printing be used as collateral if there are no available organ donations for that patient.

3D Printed hearts have already been printed which are fully functional/close to it.

http://www.techrepublic.com/article/...er-than-yours/

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-st...d-9776931.html
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username877577
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I hope they do. Somebody very close to me needs a liver transplant and the thought that they may not get it is terrifying - there aren't enough donors.

But realistically, I don't think it will happen any time soon, it'll need a lot of research, development etcetc
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YounesB
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(Original post by Olympiad)
I hope they do. Somebody very close to me needs a liver transplant and the thought that they may not get it is terrifying - there aren't enough donors.

But realistically, I don't think it will happen any time soon, it'll need a lot of research, development etcetc

Sorry to hear that.

I agree. However, research and development should start right now to get rid of this problem that we have now.
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username877577
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(Original post by YounesB)
Sorry to hear that.

I agree. However, research and development should start right now to get rid of this problem that we have now.
Ahh it's okay

Until then however, I think more should be done to encourage people to join the organ donor list.
having an opt out system, educating people on the importance, etcetc
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YounesB
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(Original post by Olympiad)
Ahh it's okay

Until then however, I think more should be done to encourage people to join the organ donor list.
having an opt out system, educating people on the importance, etcetc


Couldn't agree more. The opt out system would be way more effective.

More education in schools about this would be very effective. Imagine how effective it would be if someone who actually needed an organ donor went around to schools and spoke!
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Chlorophile
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(Original post by YounesB)
This is why I am saying it could be the way forward. I'm not saying that organ donations should stop because we have this potential alternative but rather I'm saying could 3D Printing be used as collateral if there are no available organ donations for that patient.

3D Printed hearts have already been printed which are fully functional/close to it.

http://www.techrepublic.com/article/...er-than-yours/

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-st...d-9776931.html
You might want to actually read those articles. The first one talks about how scientists have managed to use 3D printers to build raw muscle tissue. That's great but it's not even close to having anything remotely comparable to a "functioning heart". The second talks about how doctors used a 3D printed plastic model of a heart to plan surgery, this model was just a plastic structure to help them plan, it wasn't put in the baby and it didn't have any living cells on it, so the headline is totally misleading.
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iEatMuFFiNS
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Give it a decade or so and it will be common practice.. 2025 is going to be so amazing
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username877577
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(Original post by YounesB)
Couldn't agree more. The opt out system would be way more effective.

More education in schools about this would be very effective. Imagine how effective it would be if someone who actually needed an organ donor went around to schools and spoke!
Exactly!
I've found people in my school are refusing to join the organ donor list because they find the thought of their organs being removed from their bodies horrifying. (And people also think that doctors are less likely to look after you if you are on the list)

I used to think that when I was a child, but honestly you are dead. You will not even know they are being removed. I've been able to change a few people's minds, not everybodies but I really think more education on this is necessary.
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YounesB
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(Original post by Chlorophile)
You might want to actually read those articles. The first one talks about how scientists have managed to use 3D printers to build raw muscle tissue. That's great but it's not even close to having anything remotely comparable to a "functioning heart". The second talks about how doctors used a 3D printed plastic model of a heart to plan surgery, this model was just a plastic structure to help them plan, it wasn't put in the baby and it didn't have any living cells on it, so the headline is totally misleading.
The point is that we are getting closer to the concept coming to life.
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