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Artif Organs. 2012 Nov;36(11):951-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1594.2012.01499.x. Epub 2012 Aug 13.

Intelligent freeform manufacturing of complex organs.

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Key Laboratory for Advanced Materials Processing Technology, Ministry of Education & Center of Organ Manufacturing, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.


Different from the existing tissue engineering strategies, rapid prototyping (RP) techniques aim to automatically produce complex organs directly from computer-aided design freeform models with high resolution and sophistication. Analogous to building a nuclear power plant, cell biology (especially, renewable stem cells), implantable biomaterials, tissue engineering, and single/double/four nozzle RP techniques currently enable researchers in the field to realize a part of the task of complex organ manufacturing. To achieve this multifaceted undertaking, a multi-nozzle rapid prototyping system which can simultaneously integrate an anti-suture vascular system, multiple cell types, and a cocktail of growth factors in a construct should be developed. This article reviews the pros and cons of the existing cell-laden RP techniques for complex organ manufacturing. It is hoped that with the comprehensive multidisciplinary efforts, the implants can virtually replace the functions of a solid internal organ, such as the liver, heart, and kidney.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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