Futuristic ‘smart’ tissues could grow into any organ and automatically connect to the bodies of transplant patients, study reveals
Scientists have created synthetic tissues that can rebuild themselves into any part of the body, a new study reveals.
The researchers developed a new compound that mimics DNA’s instructions for cells to turn into various tissues.
Using this method, the University of California, San Francisco team could effectively automate these cells to take on various structures and colors, a process akin to what happens in the early stages of natural embryonic development.
Exerting this level of control to create complex biological forms indicates that scientists may soon be able to stop 3D-printing organs and grow them the way nature does instead.
The world over is plagued by organ shortages, leaving a slim margin of hope for the 114,000 people waiting for a transplant.
Modern medicine has made leaps and bounds in the transplant field, improving odds of organ rejection, and finding ways to make more organs viable for transplant.
But it is not enough. Every day, an average of 20 people in the world die because they could not get a transplant in time.
The most cutting-edge labs are now circumventing shortages by 3D-printing and growing organs personalized to their recipients.
So far, however, only a limited number of organs have been successfully produced using these techniques.