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Will 3-D Printing Revolutionize Medicine?

Living Tissue continued...

Already, bioengineers at Cornell University have printed ears, and the University of Michigan is also testing the concept. Many labs already print tissue for research and drug testing, and patching damaged organs with strips of human tissue may happen in the near future, says Stuart Williams, PhD, of the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute at the University of Louisville.

The first printed windpipe may not be too far off either, says Faiz Bhora, MD, co-director of Mount Sinai Hospital’s Airway Center. Bhora and his colleagues are building windpipes both with plastic and gel bases in hopes of helping patients born with defects or tumors that block their airways.

As centers like Bhora’s work on future applications, Hollister predicts the immediate benefits of 3-D printing will lead to having one in every hospital.

Williams offers a prediction, too: “3-D printing will change the delivery of health care.”

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