• Organovo has been working on printing functional human tissue since being incorporated in 2007, and first printed a cellular blood vessel in 2010. Since January 2014, it has offered bioprinted liver tissue for companies to use in drug trials and disease modeling, and it looks as though its bioprinted human kidney tissue will be available starting sometime in the latter half of 2016.
  • So far Organovo’s 3D-printed liver tissue is used for preclinical drug trials, because the tissue responds like a real life human liver would for 42 days. That’s much longer than the single layers of cells previously used in tests, which wilt in a few days. There are mixed views on how far off printing functional organs for transplant is.
  • With the cost of bringing new drugs to market extremely high, and the price being passed on to consumers in dramatic and unfortunate ways, lowering the cost of pharmaceutical tests is still very useful.

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