Growing parts not only possible, it’s happened. The first grown body part is a windpipe and the patient is already home recovering. He said he feels okay and has hope for the future. The heart will also be possible while the other more complicated organs will be a little more difficult.
Professor Alex Seifalian has developed a breakthrough technique for manufacturing replacement organs by using a special plastic with the potential to change the transplant landscape. His work can be seen in an actual living windpipe growing in a jar.
The technique of growing organs involves making a glass mock-up of the diseased body part and then coating it in a new type of polymer — a rubbery type substance developed in this lab. Seifalian describes it as a “special kind of plastic.”
The plastic has microscopic pores, onto which stem cells taken from the patient can attach and grow. The plastic acts as a scaffolding of sorts around which the patient’s own cells can then regrow and remodel themselves into a new body part.