Reengineering the Human Body
Arteries taken from one part of a patient's body during a surgical procedure to, say, remove a blood clot from the leg are sometimes damaged. In efforts to reduce the failure of artery grafts, Organovo, based in San Diego, is developing organ-printing technology that can create “tissue on demand” to rebuild blood vessels. The company’s bioprinter can produce three-dimensional patterns that grow into organs, providing surgeons with fresh blood vessels. Backed by a $5 million National Science Foundation grant, the company is planning to begin studies of the artificial tissue in lab animals this year.