Significant progress continues at major research organizations to develop materials and processes to produce human organs.
Equipment is highly specialized and borrows from inkjet printing to produce three-dimensional shapes. It's a distant—very distant—cousin to 3D printers used for additive manufacturing in the industrial world. A person's own stem cells are used as the printing material, often in conjunction with scaffolds made from bioresorbable plastics that simulate the shape of human organs, such as kidneys.
The mechanical aspect of the technology is fairly well developed, but engineers lack knowledge of the complex cell structure within human organs. In the industrial world, 3D printers can work from CAD files to produce parts with intricate internal geometries. In the medical world, the CAD files to drive the bioprinters are the missing link keeping creation of human organs 15 to 20 years from development....