Could RepRap print body parts someday?
Watching this amazing video over at Wired is pretty much guaranteed to blow your mind. Dr. Atala is printing body parts using a setup not unlike RepRap.
He’s using a modified HP printer with an elevator plate added to allow the device to day down multiple layers of organic cells and cross-linkers. He’s had enormous successes and has produced working bladders as well as heart constructs that actually begin beating within hours of being printed.
I’m curious whether Dr. Atala utilizes the bubblejet’s ability to spray precise patterns, or if he’s simply laying down stripes of material with each pass. If the latter is the case, I don’t see any reason why, once perfected and refined, RepRap wouldn’t be able to produce similar results, and possibly on a much larger scale.