The topic of 3-D printable organs very evidently, is starting to receive an increasing amount of attention. The whole mechanism of creating live tissue and organizing cells to form organs seems impossible and amazing.
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Until recent time, scientists had problems to keep cells in balance and preserve their survival, as there were few issues. Presently, it has been accomplished by combining stem cells with liquid medium in which the cells have the ability to spawn and continue growth (Benayoun 2013).
The process of 3-D printing has been around for some time, printing physical objects, ranging from robotic parts, to photographs, guns and other everyday items. It is clear that no one thought that this process could go so far.
In personal opinion, printing 3-D objects is very useful, as it saves time and increases efficiency of production and social involvement. Printing organs is very much relative and as of right now, people are unable to grasp the concept very closely.
It seems extremely futuristic and the majority of population cannot even imagine the technology, particularly the printer that will create live organs. But in case this does work, it would prove extremely beneficial for humanity.
There are many people who are on the waitlists for skin transplants, not to mention organs. It is difficult to find donors and there is no guarantee that the organ or tissue will be accepted by the body.
Person’s own stem cells can be used in creating organs, and it means that they will be better accepted by the organism, so there will be very little risk involved and chances of survival are greatly increased.
This sort of development will have very many benefits that will solve problems between hospitals and patient care. For a very long time, since doctors started experimenting and practicing transplanting organs, there has been a battle among professional and patients.
The ethical questions on who must decide where the organs will go and how to separate those in particular need from those who can wait some time longer has been under debate.
One thing for certain is that there is no way to predict the long term deterioration in patient’s health, so it quite impossible to develop a degree of needs between individuals.
As previously discussed, the topic of 3-D organ printing is receiving enormous amount of attention and people are starting to wonder if there will be any ethical problems.
With the ability to create living tissue, people are starting to wonder if it will become possible to replicate a whole human being and cloning has been mentioned as one of the unwanted outcomes.
The merging of “real” people with artificially created human organism has been described in numerous science fiction movies and books but no one has imagined that it might become a part of reality.
The primary problem is that people will start playing God, and the whole ethical issue of whether the cloned or “printed” people will be considered an individual or will they be a mere duplicate that can be experimented on and used for organs is questioned (Magnus 2008).
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The existence of soul and character will become very problematic, as these are things that are impossible to discover or quantify.
This can be compared to infants that are grown in labs, using modern technology but the cells that are used are taken from parents and are already formed, as comparing to stem cells that are neutral and then, are later manipulated to produce the required organ.
This sort of artificial involvement and unnatural modification by humans can be the basis for much debate and argument.
One thing for sure, is that the progress and technological advancements cannot be stopped and the future is defined by the knowledge and human ability to better people’s organisms.
This sort of technology can be compared to the current prostatic usage and it has proven to be extremely beneficial for people. If it is acceptable to better joints and bones, then organs can be added to the same category.
There should not be a problem with the organs because it is the patient themselves that donates their own stem cells and so, there is no ethical dilemma present. But people are starting to wonder if it will become possible to replicate brains and human individuality.
It would be wise to leave this issue to the future because the current debate is centered on organ manufacturing and this without a doubt is a positive direction that must be further studied and developed.
The growing attention to 3-D organ printing is continuing to increase the amount of people who consider this technology extremely beneficial. The most recent advances have explained how the technology is used and people are becoming more familiar with and used to the whole idea.
The mixture of stem cells and bio liquid allows for layered growth of cells into any organ that humans have. The further progress in computer technology and bioresearch has made it evident that almost any part of human body can be “printed” (Fernandes 2011, p. 164).
The following diagram illustrates the technique, where a “form” of an organ is used and stem cells surround it and start growing, replicating the physical copy of the organ.
(Loh 2012, p. 3).
Scientists are now talking about being able to produce tracheas and organs that have an intricate system of blood vessels and nervous endings. The use of produced live tissue has already been applied in testing drugs and treatments.
Another most recent developed was in the production “a self-healing hydrogel that binds in seconds and is able to be stretched repeatedly” (Loh 2012, p. 4). As genetics and DNA has been extensively studied in the past, this can be considered the continuation of the already existing experimentation.
It is fascinating that scientists have developed a technique of “inserting” genetic material into the cell and are able to manipulate the living processes (Khademhosseini 2008, p. 128). I think that this sort of technology is inevitably connected to humanity and evolution.
People were given intricate brains in order to discover ways to better ourselves. Unfortunately, it will probably be impossible to replicate individualities because there is much more immaterial and unexplained aspects involved in making someone who they are.
Just as there are limitations on certain things that people cannot achieve, like flying, walking through walls or changing into other live organism or objects, Nature will not allow people to become creators of other human beings.
Of course, it is possible that some secret governmental facilities are in fact cloning people who are already walking amongst the population but there is no conclusive evidence.
One thing for sure, is that problems must be dealt with as soon as they arrive and not before, otherwise, there will be an overload of the mind.
Benayoun, J 2013, The Latest in Biotech: Printable Organs. Web.
Fernandes, P 2011, Advances on Modeling in Tissue Engineering, Springer New York, United States.
Khademhosseini, A 2008, Micro and Nanoengineering of the Cell Microenvironment, Artech House, Campridge, United States.
Loh, X 2012, Polymeric and Self Assembled Hydrogels, Royal Society of Chemistry Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Magnus. T 2008, ‘Stem Cell Myths’, The Royal Society, vol. 363. no. 1489, pp. 9-22.