How to Grow Human Organs (Watch Ted Talk Video)
Anthony Atala’s state-of-the-art lab grows human organs — from muscles to blood vessels to bladders, and more. At TEDMED, he shows footage of his bio-engineers working with some of its sci-fi gizmos, including an oven-like bioreactor (preheat to 98.6 F) and a machine that “prints” human tissue.
Anthony Atala asks, “Can we grow organs instead of transplanting them?” His lab at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine is doing just that — engineering tissues and whole organs (bladders and, soon, kidneys) using smart bio-materials and cutting-edge techniques.
Anthony Atala is the director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, where his work focuses on growing and regenerating tissues and organs. His team engineered the first lab-grown organ to be implanted into a human — a bladder — and is developing experimental fabrication technology that can “print” human tissue on demand.
In 2007, Atala and a team of Harvard University researchers showed that stem cells can be harvested from the amniotic fluid of pregnant women. This and other breakthroughs in the development of smart bio-materials and tissue fabrication technology promises to revolutionize the practice of medicine.
“Anthony Atala bakes things that will make you feel good inside, but we’re not talking cakes and muffins.”
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