Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Surgeon creates new kidney on TED stage

"It's like baking a cake," Anthony Atala of the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine said as he cooked up a fresh kidney on stage at a TED Conference in the California city of Long Beach.

Scanners are used to take a 3-D image of a kidney that needs replacing, then a tissue sample about half the size of postage stamp is used to seed the computerized process, Atala explained.

The organ "printer" then works layer-by-layer to build a replacement kidney replicating the patient's tissue.

College student Luke Massella was among the first people to receive a printed kidney during experimental research a decade ago when he was just 10 years old.

He said he was born with Spina Bifida and his kidneys were not working.

"Now, I'm in college and basically trying to live life like a normal kid," said Massella, who was reunited with Atala at TED.

"This surgery saved my life and made me who I am today."

About 90 percent of people waiting for transplants are in need of kidneys, and the need far outweighs the supply of donated organs, according to Atala.

"There is a major health crisis today in terms of the shortage of organs," Atala said. "Medicine has done a much better job of making us live longer, and as we age our organs don't last."



  1. Woah, that is just awesome! What are those organs made of?

  2. Avoiding Larry Niven's organ bank problem before it even crops up! Nice.

  3. lulz cooked up a fresh kidney...
    taste like chicken?

  4. Well this definitely gives me hope! I might just start smoking again LOL!

  5. That stuff is amazing! Have you heard about the "gun" that sprays new skin onto burn victims. It looks amazing.

  6. If you could replace everything, could you live forever?

  7. wow this is amazing, but repo men might becoming true

  8. The wonders of organ printing!

    <3 TED. Especially Sir Ken Robinsons lectures on education.

  9. I always knew TED was entertaining but... a live organ farm demonstration? I'm impressed, people.