The lab uses modified ink jet printer technology to build new organs. You can watch a video of the printer printing skin (wmv), which is research sponsored by the U.S. Army to help wounded soldiers. Similar printers are being developed by the US biotech firm Organovo and in Japan.
This technology sounds like it would be more efficient that having to wait for organs to grow from scratch, and doesn't have the ethical concerns associated with organs transplanted from other people or animals. Now the question is how long it will take for the organ printer to be perfected - and whether it will be made readily available for treatment of non-military personnel.
Related Biology in Science Fiction posts:
- Artificial Skin for Terminators (and People)
- Would You Eat Vat Meat?
- Organ-supplying clones - an idea that just won't die
- Caught in the Organ Draft
Tags:organ printing, biotechnology