Inside the Lab Where Scientists are 3D-Printing a Real Working Trachea

Quartz/qz.com
February 12, 2015
Inside the Lab Where Scientists are 3D-Printing a Real Working Trachea

Mr. Todd Goldstein, Investigator at the Feinstein Institute

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Crain’s Health Pulse
February 13, 2015
Lab-Grown Tracheas

Mr. Todd Goldstein, Investigator at the Feinstein Institute

Researchers at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, part of the North Shore-LIJ system, say they have figured out how to create a human trachea using a 3D printer. Todd Goldstein, a Ph.D. candidate at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine who specializes in cartilage research, collaborated with NSLIJ physicians Dr. Lee Smith and Dr. David Zeltsman. The team modified a consumer 3D printer manufactured by MakerBot to print PLA filament—a type of plastic often used in medical devices—combined with living tissues. “I
downloaded instructions about someone putting frosting on a cake,” said Mr. Goldstein. “It was the same process to use a syringe to print biological stuff.” The machine worked off a pattern from a CAT scan of a human trachea and printed a 2inch piece in about two hours. To date, no one has successfully implanted lab-grown tissue into humans, although companies like Organovo and EpiBone are working toward that goal. Mr. Goldstein’s project has many unknowns: how much growing and implanting a human trachea would cost, and how long the organ would need to grow in the lab before it could be placed in a human. Still, Mr. Goldstein said, “it’s kind of mindboggling.”

 

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