IN SCHOOL

What are organs doing in the laboratory?

A functional lab-made kidney.Photo: Reuters

A functional lab-made kidney.Photo: Reuters  

With regenerative medicine and tissue engineering becoming a reality, we are already living in the future

Science has gone the distance to conquer the shortcomings of the mortal world. The day is not far away when you do not have to lose precious lives due to organ failure.

With the ever-growing technology, what was once impossible has now become a reality. Scientists are now looking to synthesise human organs in laboratories and these are successfully being implanted in patients with unhealthy or damaged organs. 3D-printing of organs or synthesis of organs in labs is a revolutionary concept in the field of medicine.

Regenerative medicine is the science that deals with the engineering of tissues, organs and human cells to aid functional healing.

Bladder, the winner

The first ever organ to be grown in a lab was the bladder. This feat was achieved by Anthony Atala and his colleagues at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in North Carolina. It offers hope in the treatment of bladder defects and bladder cancer. Since then, many replicas like mini heart, mini brain, mini kidney, ear, oesophagus, liver cells, etc have been developed in labs. However, there are chances that the body may not adapt to the new organ. Nevertheless, it is an achievement that is laudable.

Manvi Sharma, Class XI

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