This 3D Bioprinted Organ Just Took Its First “Breath”

This 3D Bioprinted Organ Just Took Its First “Breath”


You’re looking at a 3D bioprinted lung-mimicking
air sac, that’s able to pump air into airways, mimic blood flow and was built using living
cells. Granted it’s smaller than a penny, but this
lung-mimicking air sac could bring us one step closer to understanding how we could
replicate human organs using a patient’s cells which could one day help to avoid organ
rejection. The team behind this model is trying to replicate
the complicated architectural structures of our organs using 3D bioprinting and used the
lung as their proof of concept. Jordan: “It is a very complicated structure,
yet it has extremely clear readouts for its function. If we have a mimic of lung tissue, we can
pump in deoxygenated red blood cells. We can ventilate in the airway oxygen, and
we can see to what extent those red blood cells will take up the oxygen that we’ve been
putting into the air sac.” Being able to print multiple independent vessel
architectures has been one of the biggest challenges in the world of artificial organs. That’s because our organs are, well, pretty
complicated. You see, each tissue has its own knotted mess
of blood vessels, which are physically and biochemically mixed. And they serve crucial purposes by supplying
organs with essential nutrients. Take the liver for example. It has over 500 functions, like producing
bile for digestion and maintaining the right amounts of blood sugar within the body. All these functions depend on the intricate
network of vessels to get their necessary nutrients. It’s this multi-vascular architecture that
makes mimicking and replicating human organs so difficult. If we could figure it out, the payoff would
be huge. Over 100,000 people are waiting for organs
in the U.S. and bioprinting healthy organs could be a way to address this shortage by
supplying replacement organs. It could also reduce the incidents of organ
rejection since bioprinted organs would contain the patient’s own cells. But, working with living cells isn’t easy. They’re extremely fragile outside of the
body and once they’ve been extracted, they need to be placed into their final structure
as quickly as possible to ensure survival. The cells are then encapsulated within a hydrogel,
a water-based material which emulates a cell’s environment, to allow them to survive for
longer periods. So how did Jordan and his team print the lung
model? They used a technique called stereolithography
apparatus for tissue engineering, or SLATE. It’s an open-source bioprinting technology
that uses additive manufacturing to create soft hydrogels layer-by-layer by using light
from a digital projector. So this is a light-based polymerization system. So we have a light-sensitive liquid, that
when you shine the right color of light at the right intensity of energy, the right number
of photons hit that sample, you can convert that liquid into a solid only in that region. But using light also created some issues,
since the light could get into previously solidified layers, thus disrupting the intended
pattern. To address this, the team searched to find
an element that could block light and that was biocompatible. And the winner was food dye.
Jordan: “These biocompatible food additives that all of us are eating all the time anyway,
we already know that they’re biocompatible. They’re compatible with live cells, and they
can be used as potent photo absorbers to block the light penetrating previous layers, getting
us our complex architecture.” The food dyes were able to confine the solidification
to a thin layer, creating the desired internal structures. In the end, these tissues proved to be sturdy
enough to withstand blood flow and pulsating breathing, the rhythm that mimics the pressures
and frequencies of how we breathe. So this model may be tiny,
but it’s just the beginning for Jordan and his team. They plan to make more complex designs and
scale them up. And in the spirit of teamwork and advancing
research, they’ve made their work’s source data freely available. Jordan: “We’re using open-source to be able
to make the 3D printer, we’re giving back to the open-source community our designs. But I think scientists in general, get a little
bit nervous about releasing things into the open, because they’re like, “Well, what are
people going to use this for? I don’t really know.” You actually want to open-source your stuff
because you don’t know what people are going to use it for. And that’s really the power behind open-source,
and it’s really the power behind science.” And thanks to collaborative efforts like these,
we’ll one day be able to 3D bioprint organs to help address the organ shortage. If you liked this video, check out our other 3D printing video where a new 3D printer can shape objects, all-at-once, using specialized synthetic resin and rays of light. Make sure to subscribe to Seeker and thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “This 3D Bioprinted Organ Just Took Its First “Breath””

  1. Seeker in a nutshell: "Here is a new thing. But it's only a concept or theory and might get used some time in the future, but who the hell really knows?"

  2. this is awesome! but i'm sure there are people who would be angry and say this is "trying to be god" something and we shouldn't be doing this blah blah blah

  3. It's already quite a common thing to print the base structure of bones with proteins, so when implemented in the body, it begins to build a bone upon it. This is just the next logical thing to go for.

  4. I wonder if one day we might be able to come up with more efficient organs using AI and assemble them using these techniques… I wish these magnificent whitepeople luck and I give them thanks for making it open source, that's badass!!!

  5. Wow let’s have plastic lungs! Next thing ya know they make a whole body without the brain and heart and put people in plastic body’s

  6. Open Source is the only way to improve society. Copyrights on knowledge is stealing from society. Nearly every innovation is a logical continuation of the last innovation, so it is inevitable anyway. And scientist don't need money as a motivator, they only need the equipment and support from universities. People who want to get rich won't go into science. Only greedy suits try to exploit the whole concept of science and progress for personal profit.

  7. I feel like artificial organs in the future will be more reliable than the ones we have, and you bet i'll be getting mine replaced

  8. The problem with organs is that it's almost impossible to mimic their chemical reactions and bacteria. it's much more complicated then a simple mechanical form.

  9. I feel like an old man thinking that in the future, people will be able to duplicate organs with ease

  10. They're really awesome for making this open source. That just shows that the goal of this is to help people and not to be selfish.

  11. wait wouldn't this mean we could theoretically make brains?

    if so, then you could possibly make an entire species

  12. This is why i love how we evolve. Imagine in the future, never ever needing a transplant from another person amazing…

  13. How will some delusional twats explain god after these start being implanted, or even better, used to be made new humans soon?

  14. So here's the thing, even if they get an organ 3d printed to match humans organs 100% as well as 100% functionally working. That alone doesn't mean the body will actually accept it. Especially something as the heart or other vital organs that have to constantly work to keep you alive. Otherwise even tests can kill so many people trying this. I see this as it's a good idea and a very good last resort measure that say for example someone needed a new heart but couldn't wait, and needed it then to survive. I see this being used then cause normally you would have to wait on a list so most likely would die if none were available. But with that 3d printed version you would least have a chance to survive. That's the only way I can see this being successful cause if the case isn't life threatening then this should never be first option js. Organs are complex and grown naturally hence why we can replace other people's organs with a donor and still live.

  15. 3d printed humans in 100 years? Yeap!
    Super advanced AI build in quantum computers in 100 years? Yeap
    completely functioning bionic limps in 100 years? Duh!
    who knew that ALL sci fi movies of the past would be right…The fifth element, Blade runner, Robocop, Total recall….too bad im gonna be 70 when all of these really kick off

  16. LOL, you can't print living cells. People are not that gullible. There is no limit to how far the ultra lift is willing to twist the TRUTH.

  17. They are totally going about it the wrong way. First, invent a anatomically correct Flesh Light. Use the billions of dollars of profit for R and D for the rest of the body. When it comes to high tech and what to do first, ask yourself, "How does this help an ultra-realistic sex robot come to fruition?" Because that's how you fund science for the next century.

  18. It's time to stop. Srsly. Enough is enough. We've advanced technologically enough. If we continue down this road, I don't see how a dystopia will be avoided. In my humble opinion, I think we should "pause" our advancement and progress, and then use our existing technology and knowledge to make the less fortunate parts of earth better and stable. We should also put more focus on fixing big problems that could possibly destroy us if we don't address them. Some scientists have claimed that there's a point we could pass that will make global warming irreversible and unstoppable. Some claim we've passed it. And yet we keep advancing without addressing any of it. Its terrifying that we still have people, in powerful positions, that don't even believe in it. After all of this is done, and we've reassessed ourselves, we can finally think deeply and decide whether we should "unpause".

  19. There’s no organ shortage…there’s terrible distribution and regulations that prevent people for getting organs.

  20. We should use these to create bio organic weapons. The more people die from the ensuing conflict the more organs there are available
    fixing the Oregon shortage.

  21. People think money is a good thing. But its actually slows down progress. Due to copy rights and having to seek funding, greedy corporate interest and hindrance when their seeking profit or when new technology or techniques threaten established profits.

    if you truly want to solve a problem the best method is Open Source. Getting as may minds on the problem as possible so solution can be achieved quickly. Also Open Source allows for peer review.

  22. I used to like SciShow more and i still find the people there more sympathetic actually, but honestly Seeker is just a better SciShow 🙂
    Keep going! You're on the right track

  23. So, hydrogel is recreating the functions of extracellular matrix? Biotensgrity tech! Freaking cool!

  24. I feel like someone's gonna take this freely available data and program to make bio robots. One day you'll be able to build your own child with parts you ordered online.

  25. They could weave a matrix using gel forming thread by using crochet patterns to weave a network. Or blow bubbles into hydrogel based foam to get similar structures.

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