Military people often engage in wars on any severe attack. As a result, they lose their body parts and some lost their lives. When people lose their body parts, they would retire since they cannot work on subjective to their body condition. Not only military people, but many people also lose their body parts during major accidents.
Dean Kamen is working on the manufacturing of replacement tissue and organs which could regenerate the lost body parts. He is the one who invented Segway almost 20 years ago. In December 2016, he and his collaborators won $80 million from the Department of Defense. It is to manufacture the human organs for the wounded soldiers.
He is making the tools and machinery to mass-produce human organs if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves them for patients. He wants to pump out hearts and kidneys the same way how smartphones get produced in factories. It is similar to high-tech assembly lines.
The production process of tissues and organs
This field would require 3D bioprinters which can generate living cells and produce organ scaffolds instead of using plastic or metal. There will also be a need for bioreactors that would grow and cultivate stem cells. We can implant the stem cells in scaffolds.
Kamen compares its manufacturing with the semiconductors which are used to create transistors in billions and used in smartphones.
He says, “So I thought, why don’t we do the same thing for living tissues. There ought to be a way to make a high quantity of them, a high quality of them, and at a realistic cost for the American public that’s in desperate need when they have an organ failure.”
Kamen made collaboration with Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI) where they can contribute by sharing research and resources. ARMI member, STEL Technologies, is developing anterior cruciate ligaments (ACLS). It is a tissue in the knee that gets often torn or overstretched. Tom Bollenbach, Chief Technology Officer in ARMI, says that the team is now working on muscle, bone, insulin-making beta cells, and islets. ARMI is also collaborating with Texas Heart Institute in developing children’s hearts.
Though the production of human organs is a significant invention, there is no certain timeline to exactly predict when it will happen. But Kamen says that within 10 years it will be common, and medical procedures will replace defective organs with the new organs they produced.
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