Could 3D printable human organ transplants become a reality in the coming years? It’s certainly starting to look that way, as reports are surfacing that the Japanese government will also begin heavily investing in this very human branch of 3D bio printing technology.

This announcement is following recent developments in that same field; last November, we reported on Russian scientists, who are confident that they will be able to 3D print human kidneys by 2018. And just a few weeks ago, in early December, we learned of a collaboration between 3D printing company Organovo and the Yale School of Medicine that aims to pioneer 3D bio-printed surgical tissuesthemselves.

This Japanese announcement thus follows a current trend in medical science, but they are reportedly doing it on a hitherto unseen scale. For reports have surfaced that they will invest a massive sum of 2,5 billion yen in the development of transplantable human organ printing over the next five years, which comes down to a sum of approximately $21 million. Now that is going somewhere.

This sum is to be spread out over five research organizations attached to Osaka University, who will use it to develop 3D printable human tissue and ultimately transplantable organs. Research into human tissue printing is reportedly already well underway in Osaka, where research teams have been working with ips cells (induced pluripotent stem cells, or artificially cultivated stem cells that can be used in 3D bio printing processes) with the hopes of generating cardiomyocytes, or muscle cells of the heart.

Now these fields will reportedly need a lot of time before they’ll reach a stage where they can applied to human subjects. However, the funds now provided by the Japanese government will go a long way towards reaching their goals. With that level of backing, it can even be expected that these organisations will rise to the to the top of the field of 3D printed generative medication studies.

This new round of investments is great news for the development of 3D printed medication, which is expected to revolutionize medical help. And as an estimated 100,000 people are on the waiting list for organ transplantation in the US alone, it’s no wonder that the medical field is turning its focus towards 3D printing.

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