In a laboratory filled with bubbling tanks float body parts in viscous liquids. Beakers ooze, testubes bubble, and amidst them all broods Dr. Frankenstein with his minion Igor.
Actually, the lab overlooking London is quite sunny and much more up to date than the fictional Dr. Frankenstein's. And, it's Professor Alexander Seifalian and his colleagues that have unlocked a major technique in synthetic organ generation.
No they don't scavenge graveyards for body parts to replace failing ones, that's specifically what's brilliant about their newly developed polymer. They've developed an artificial scaffolding to cultivate human tissue.
It's the equivalent of a chia pet for organs; take out the mold, spread on some cells and watch it all grow into shape. In the video above you can see a nose, ears, even a windpipe. And, because the technique involves using synthetic materials and the organ recipient's own cells instead of donor tissue, there's no potential for organ rejection.
Earlier this year, surgeons were able to transplant one of Professor Seifalian's lab grown trachea's into a cancer patient. The trachea took approximately 2 weeks to grow and relied on the patient's stem cells to adhere to and thrive on the microscopically porous polymer.
Watch the video above to see Professor Seifalian's process take shape.