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chelle21689's avatar

Why aren't tailor-made organs available to the public?

Asked by chelle21689 (5379 points ) November 16th, 2012

Meaning, are they finding more ways to save lives? I keep reading and watching articles about science being able to grow organs suited for a person…why is that not yet out available to us or affordable????

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/16/health/research/scientists-make-progress-in-tailor-made-organs.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Why is this not available?

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18 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

They do it with bladders, your article mentions it. I am pretty sure the woman who teaches a class at my gym had that surgery.

I would assume there has to be some years of testing before it is approved for general availability.

dabbler's avatar

That’s an extremely new technology.
I haven’t seen anything that suggest any but the simplest tissues can be cloned with these methods (skin, blood vessels, the example of the article of throat tissue on a plastic frame). Organs have not been made this way yet.

chelle21689's avatar

I wonder how close they are to perfecting other vital organs…that’d be awesome! It’s kind of unbelievable.

gailcalled's avatar

It’s going to be a very long time before you can order up something special, like you do at Starbucks. However, the early stages are promising…no, exciting.

chelle21689's avatar

I saw “Through the worm hole” them growing lungs and all that. I forgot what episode it was.

jaytkay's avatar

I read about doctors growing a replacement jawbone for a man on his back.

They made a wire frame and his bone cells filled it in. When it was ready they cut it off his back and installed it in his face.

Not an organ, but totally custom (and creepy).

dabbler's avatar

@jaytkay Good example.
Where the new tissue is more uniform a lot can be done now.

I suppose the scarcity of this kind of treatment is based on the lack of practitioners with the training and experience.

The specialized vascularization and structures that are in organs have been synthesised only partly successfully.

Mariah's avatar

I have heard about this with tracheae. But tracheae are very simple organs, basically just tubes. It will be awhile before we know how to do this with something as complex as a liver, for example.

ucme's avatar

Well, Donald Trump’s “hair” was ripped off the still twitching corpse of a colobus monkey, tailored to fit & everything.

BhacSsylan's avatar

Generally, it’s a very hard and delicate technique that requires time, skill, and a lot of training to pull off. It can be done, but it’s certainly still in the range of experimental, and not yet formalized and tested enough to begin scaling up production to suit more then a few hand-picked subjects. But we’re getting there.

And as was mentioned, we’re still not to organs for humans, which are considerably more complex then just a static structure like a trachea or a jawbone. Which is not to disparage those that managed that, it is an amazing feat and well worth praise, but that’s precisely the problem, when those structures are amazing, we’ve got some work to do before we can create a functional organ. But, again, we’re getting there, and there has even been some real progress on creation of functioning hearts from frameworks, iirc. But again, going to take time. Exciting, though :-).

marinelife's avatar

The techniques are not perfected enough for widespread use. Just wait. It will come.

dabbler's avatar

The article cited has a good quote on the matter, following some speculation on the possibilities to reliably get the tissue they want for the throat implant, and a rough description of how the latest one worked :
’ Or at least that is what Dr. Macchiarini thinks happened. “We are far away from understanding this process,” he said. “Far, far away.” ’

chelle21689's avatar

Thanks everyone.

chelle21689's avatar

I also read in the article they’re trying to make a damaged organ repair on its own. I wonder what negative effects this will have on the population. I recently learned about the IMMORTAL jellyfish. It can go from being old to young and repair itself!

augustlan's avatar

I saw a TED talk where they “printed” a kidney during the talk. It looked just right, but wasn’t a functional organ. They weren’t quite there, yet. I believe they will get there in my lifetime, though, which would be fantastic!

Shippy's avatar

Because money makes the world go round.

Fyrius's avatar

Now I’m wondering if one day we’ll have ‘vegetarian’ steaks and chicken breasts too that are grown in a lab instead of being cut from a dead animal.
No-murder-meat. That would be pretty cool.
Maybe that would be our final way to flip the bird to the inherent horribleness of the natural food chain.

(I blame the fact that I’m thinking about meat instead of life-saving surgeries on the fact that I’m having breakfast while writing this.)

chelle21689's avatar

Haha @Fvirus

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