Thousands of people are waiting for kidneys, waiting for the next motorcycle accident so that they can be "harvested". But people are living longer and seat belts are saving too many prospective donors. Last year Anthony Atala, Director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake University Baptist Medical Center, did a terrific TED talk that is making the rounds again. It is a subject dear to TreeHugger.
As we noted in Kinko's for Kidneys: 3D Printing Your Own Body Parts a lot of people are working on the idea of ordering up body parts, fresh and hot. Organovo is now producing the NovoGen MMX Bioprinter; in December they started printing blood vessels.
"These vessels are the world's first arteries made solely from cells of an individual person," said Keith Murphy, Chief Executive Officer of Organovo. "Our results show the power of the NovoGen bioprinting technology to create tissue starting only with cells."
Soon we won't have people dying on dialysis, but will print new kidneys to order.