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Inkjet Technology for Digital Fabrication by Graham D. Martin, Ian M. Hutchings

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Chapter 13

Tissue Engineering: A Case Study

Makoto Nakamura

Graduate School of Science and Engineering for Research, University of Toyama, Japan

13.1 Introduction

13.1.1 Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine

Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine make up a rapidly developing field of science and technology and are expected to have great importance in the 21st century due to improved understanding and control of living cells and biomaterials. This chapter describes an application of inkjet technology in this area of research.

Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine aim to develop functional cell, tissue, and organ substitutes to repair, replace, or enhance biological functions that have been lost through injury, disease, congenital abnormality, or aging. Artificially developed tissues and organs, such as engineered hearts, livers, or kidneys, will solve many of the present problems with organ transplantation and the currently unsatisfactory artificial organ therapies.

Each year, many patients die while waiting for organ transplantation. Organ transplantation is both the final treatment for end-stage organ failure and the most effective method to save such patients. However, this treatment is intrinsically dependent on the availability of healthy organs. Healthy organs must be obtained from donors, for example a brain-dead patient with appropriate advance consent as a donor candidate, or a healthy volunteer relative for certain organs. The number of donor organs ...

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