UW reseachers paving way to 3D printed organs; study featured in science journal

Researchers at UW Medicine have created 3D bio-printed constructs containing liver cells.

SEATTLE — In an effort to address an organ shortage issue, researchers at University of Washington Medicine and Rice University are working on new research that will open the door to three-dimensional printed organs.

The new research study is featured in the May issue of the journal Science.

Scientists are working to hopefully mimic complex organs like the liver, which UW Medicine researcher Dr. Kelly Stevens said is second to the brain when it comes to complexity of function.
Along with Rice University researchers, scientists at UW are working to create next-generation printable materials that can support functional human cells.

Content Continues Below

Researchers at UW Medicine have created 3D bioprinted constructs containing liver cells, similar to what is being tested at Rice University, where a lung-mimicking air sac, which allows blood to flow through vessels and pump air inside to oxygenate cells, is being tested.

Scientists said that 3D printed organs are far from reality right now but the ability to create intertwined networks, sort of like piping and ducts to help sustain tissue, overcomes a major obstacle toward reaching that future goal.

Researchers at UW Medicine and Rice University are collaborating on the research.

More news from KIRO 7