In this medical video learn about medicine's next big thing: doctors are growing organs in the lab. Soon, they could even be printing them. Watch this video to learn about this cutting-edge technology.
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Jennifer Matthews: In most respects, Kaitlyne McNamara is like all 17-year-old girls. She loves to talk on the phone. She loves school and walking her dog. But unlike her peers, Kaitlyne has a spine-damaging condition called spina bifida. Kaitlyne McNamara: It's hard living with any disability, especially spina bifida, because I'm paralyzed, and so I have difficulty walking sometimes. Jennifer Matthews: When her bladder stopped functioning six years ago, life got a lot harder. Kaitlyne McNamara: It like made me self-conscious about myself because I don't like having accidents, and I don't like being in school when I have them. Jennifer Matthews: That inability to control her bladder had Kaitlyne facing a lifetime on dialysis. Instead, she became one of just seven people in the world to receive a custom-made bladder built by human hands. Mark Van Dyke: We've heard phrases like 'science-fiction' and 'this stuff is out of this world. Jennifer Matthews: Wake Forest researchers grow the bladders from the patient's cells. Mark Van Dyke: We can grow those cells outside the body and create a new organ, put it back into the patient, and it's genetically matched to that patient so there is no rejection. Jennifer Matthews: Researchers take cells from a healthy section of the bladder. Those cells are grown in the lab then transferred to a bladder-shaped scaffold. It's worked in all seven patients. The team can also grow urethras, blood vessels and heart valves. Mark Van Dyke: We have got probably 20 or 30 different organs or tissues that we are working on. Jennifer Matthews: But it takes months to build just one organ. To go mainstream, scientists need a faster way to make lots of organs. Physicist Gabor Forgacs has a solution; a 3D printer that could, yes, actually print organs. Gabor Forgacs: We need the ink; we call it the bioink. We need the paper; we call it the biopaper. We need the printer; the bioprinter Jennifer Matthews: The printer drops clumps of live cells onto the biopaper. Those drops fuse together and self-assemble into the desired shape. One of the first tests was a chicken heart. Gabor Forgacs: We print the block of tissue and eventually would like that tissue to synchronously beat just as a heart would and it does. Jennifer Matthews: In this demo, the printer builds the MU from living cells. Gabor Forgacs: There are thousands and thousands of cells there. Jennifer Matthews: Bioprinting is in its early stages, but research on lab-grown organs is moving fast. It's already given McNamara a new bladder. Kaitlyne McNamara: I'm really thankful for them finding something to help me. Thank you. Jennifer Matthews: A heartfelt tribute to scientists who have turned the seemingly impossible into a life-changing reality. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.

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