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The Future Of Essay

2258 words - 10 pages

“Approximately 18 people die every day waiting for an organ transplant” (3D Printed, Mearian). Thousands of dying patients lay their hopes in the possibility of finding a suitable organ, yet due to issues dealing with supply vs. demand, patients die while they wait. However, there is a new type of technology that has the potential of revolutionizing medicine, and its fundamental goal is to completely eradicate this waiting list. This new type of technology threatens to change the way many aspects of medicine including regenerative medicine work. While the manufacturing business has been the first witness to 3D printing, medicine doesn’t lag far behind. 3D printing in medicine paints the picture of a world where patients don’t die from organ failure, where a transplant list doesn’t exist and where body parts can be printed and replaced in a matter of hours. Furthermore, 3D printing in medicine has the capability of transforming the pharmaceutical industry, fixing or replacing any type of damaged tissue, and improving the healthcare in poor regions.
Although regenerative medicine is a field that has been around longer than a decade, the techniques used are quite inefficient. It takes weeks for the harvested cells from the patient to multiply in order to be implanted back into the patient. So, in order to increase the effectiveness of regenerating human tissue and organs and, “automate organ-making, the researchers came up with an incredible method - print them” (Philips). The difficulty with manually growing tissue in a lab is that it takes too long, and is a very tedious process. One of the companies that is leading this process is Organovo, “an early stage regenerative Medicine Company focused on developing a range of human tissues and disease models for drug discovery, medical research and therapeutic applications” (Renard). Their research could one day save thousands of people waiting to get an organ. Although printing a finalized organ is the optimum dream, bioprinting simpler tissue could have a huge impact on a global scale. Among those that will benefit greatly from this technology will be breast cancer survivors. Breast cancer affects women from all over the world. Only in the United States, 300,000 women…will be diagnosed with breast cancer and up to 60% of them will choose a lumpectomy… at least 25% … are dissatisfied with their physical appearance after the operation” (3D Printed, Mearian). After passing through the ordeal that is breast cancer, these survivors deserve the chance to be able to lead a healthy and happy life. Tissue could be engineered by printers in the lab and used to reconstruct breasts with the patients own cells, giving a more natural appearance. Furthermore, 3D printing can transform the pharmaceutical industry so that it is more efficient. According to Michael Drues in "The Future of Medicine: 3D Printing Medical Devices at Home Is Just the Beginning", the way we develop drugs in the pharmaceutical industry is...

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