Researchers at Tel Aviv university have managed to print a fully functional human heart. Though currently the size of a rabbit’s heart, 3D printing of (human) organs seems to be feasible in the near future.
The major benefit of this procedure is that patient’s own cells can be used to print organs and hence avoid to issue of rejection after implantation. Also this technology will reduce or even eliminate the demand for donor organs.
In regard of space settlements, distance will be a major obstacle for transporting suitable donor organs quickly. Hence 3D printing of organs will be of great importance to treat people suffering from organ failure.
Though current research focus on printing human organs, there is no reason why this technology cannot be used to provide sick animals with new organs. Unlike human organ transplantation, there is no well-development system for animal organ transplantation.