If you were one of those people who thought that 3D printing would take off in a big way, you have plenty of evidence to back you up these days. The printers have been used to create the things you'd expect, like guns
and phone cases
, but they've also been used to create an exoskeleton that helped a toddler with a rare disease use her arms
. Recently, they've been used to create liquid tissue scaffolding to help with the creation of artificial tissue
. Now, scientists have created a tiny human liver with the help of a 3D printer
that can build objects with cells.
According to New Scientist
, the liver was created by San Diego-based Organovo and announced at the Aspet Experimental Biology conference. The tiny liver can live for at least five days and is able to perform many of the functions of a full-size liver, but creating a full-sized liver with a 3D printer still faces challenges. For one thing, creating the equivalent of blood vessels is easier in a tiny liver than it would be in a full-sized liver. The company plans to eventually produce real livers with the 3D printing