Someday – maybe not too far in the future – a machine may grow the new body part you need. That would be a miracle as some “98,000 people are on a waiting list for transplants right now” according to CBS News. CBS says a research team at Wake Forest University believes any body part replacement you need can be grown.
From blood vessels to muscle tissue, Atala and his team at Wake Forest University believe that in theory anything inside the body can be grown outside the body, CBS News correspondent Wyatt Andrews reports. And it’s real: They’ve made 18 different types of tissue so far.
“That’s a heart valve?” Andrews asked.
Atala said: “This is an engineered heart valve.”
What he pointed to was a pulsing heart valve to be transplanted into a sheep.
“When people ask me ‘what do you do,’ we grow tissues and organs,” he said. “We are making body parts that we can implant right back into patients.”
Once considered a Frankenstein fantasy, the field of regenerative medicine is on the verge of unimagined breakthroughs. Scientists believe every part of the body has cells capable of regeneration – all researchers need to do is isolate those cells and coax them to grow.
Growing your own might body part or organ might also help the body overcome the reject factor that happens so often with transplants. With this kind of technology if you had a body part that was failing your doctor could order you a replacement which would be grown using your own cells. Here’s a video from CBS News about the amazing future of body part replacement. The video shows the oven-like incubators that grow the body tissue, blood vessels and organs.