SCIENCE

Bio-Printing Technology May Bring New Organ That Generates Electricity Inside The Body

06/09/2014 01:34 pm ET | Updated Jun 09, 2014

As 3D printing technology matures, scientists can foresee the day when we simply "bio-print" replacement human organs -- putting an end to transplant waiting lists. But science may push the technology even farther, says Dr. Ibrahim Ozbolat, co-director of the University of Iowa's Advanced Manufacturing Technology Group.

Ozbolat told HuffPost Live's Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani that while current research is focusing on replacing failed organs, he's also interested in the prospect of developing a "brand new organ" that doesn't exist in nature but which could be transplanted to "enhance the functionality of the human body."

And he's thinking big. One possibility is an organ that generates electricity inside our bodies.

"For complicated organs -- for example, if the heart fails -- then you need a pacemaker. The pacemaker runs with batteries, and when the battery needs to be replaced, surgery is needed," he said. That procedure could be eliminated by creating "an organ that is going to be part of the human body and generate electricity that can run the heart."

See the full HuffPost Live conversation about bioprinting organs below.

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