China has about 1.5 million patients who suffer from organ failure every year and only 10,000 of these patients get organ transplantation due to shortage of donor organs. According to Shanghai’s National Business Daily, 3D printing is a very promising technology that may help the organ transplantation shortage in China.
Chen Jiming, an engineering professor from Beijing University of Technology, noted that using 3D printing technology in the field of medicine is a long process thus the medical industry might need to wait for at least five years before 3D printing makes any significant progress. Problems like finding appropriate materials and developing printing equipment are one of the dilemmas that this technology is facing.
While it is too far to see 3D printer being used to create compatible organs for patients, 3D printers are widely used in China to create models of the affected body parts of patients so that doctors can observe as well as decide on how to deal with their patients’ condition. Although this may be the case, doctors and researchers are working non-stop to develop ways to use 3D printing in making organs for transplants.