The future of medicine may not be as far we thought it would be. Already, 3D printed body parts are created and tested on laboratory animals such as the 3D-printed heart and this one — the 3D-printed air sac. Scientists are hopeful that synthetic organs would be available for transplant in around two decades.
This 3D-printed lung-mimicking air sac is a collaborative work of researchers from Rice University, the University of Washington, Duke University, Rowan University, and Massachusetts-based design firm Nervous System. The work was led by Rice University’s Jordan Miller.
From Science Focus:
In tests, the resulting air sac was sturdy enough to avoid bursting as blood flowed through it and took in and expelled air that simulated the pressures and frequencies of human breathing. It was also found that red blood cells could take up oxygen as they flowed through a network of blood vessels surrounding the “breathing” air sac – a process similar to the gas exchange that occurs in the lung’s alveolar air sacs.
(Video Credit: Rice University/ YouTube)