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To Give or Not to Give: New Alternatives to Organ Donation

Autor:   •  January 8, 2019  •  1,600 Words (7 Pages)  •  49 Views

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embryos, this is completely the wrong idea. A majority of stem cells used in research come from adult tissue (about 85%), with no harm being done to the adult at all. The research done in this field could greatly impact anyone waiting on the donor list. It would allow organs to be available much quicker than they are today, and it will only get faster and better as time goes on. The procedures may cost about $10,000, but as of today, it is the closest you can get to an identical natural organ in your body.

If the price of stem cell research is too much for a person, another great alternative is 3D bioprinting new organs. The possibility of 3D printing anything is extremely popular in every field of science, from engineering and manufacturing to art and education; however, it is just beginning to be considered in medicine. With companies like Organovo, scientists could be printing new organs with little to no cost or effort. As of now, the materials that can be used are extremely selective, but scientists are trying to create the most organic material they possibly can.

Although both of these are still very new concepts and are just starting to be applied to the real world, they are advancing rather quickly and could be very common soon. The idea of bioprinting started in 1983, when the first 3D printer was created. In just 27 years, the first blood vessel was created that was exactly identical to those in the human body. When tested, it worked the exact same way as the others. This may seem like a very small step, but because of the short time that it was achieved in, this was huge for the medical industry.

As for stem cell organs, the research is getting very close to being used as an alternative. Popular Science states that in 2016, a team of scientists was able to use adult skin cells to regenerate functional human heart tissue, and when given a shock of electricity, the heart started beating. These hearts may work, but the scientists said that ideally, the procedure should be done with tissue from the person that needs to receive the organ. This is because stem cell research can be random at times, and if any unknown tissue enters the body it could be rejected by the entire system. By using the patient’s own tissue, this problem would not be encountered. Researchers are still somewhat far from these possibilities, but as soon as the research is ready, it will hit the medical industry like a bullet and take the organ donation industry by storm.

Works Cited

Kile, Meredith. “A brief history of organ transplant technology, from 800 BC to 2014.” TechKnow, 4 Feb. 2014,

http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/techknow/blog/2014/2/4/transplant-timelineahistoryoforgandonation.html

“Organ transplantation.” Wikipedia, 25 March. 2017, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organ_transplantation

“Bian Que.” Wikipedia, 8 May. 2016, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bian_Que

“Saints Cosmas and Damian.” Wikipedia, 15 March. 2017, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saints_Cosmas_and_Damian

“Organ Transplants: A Brief History.” History, 21 Feb. 2012, http://www.history.com/news/organ-transplants-a-brief-history

Harris, William. 17 December 2013. “The 3-D History of Bioprinting.” HowStuffWorks, http://health.howstuffworks.com/medicine/modern-technology/3-d-bioprinting1.htm

NIH Stem Cell Information Home Page. In Stem Cell Information. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2016

https://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/1.htm

“What are Stem Cells?” MedicalNewsToday, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/stem_cell

“Scientists Grow Full-Sized, Beating Human Hearts From Stem Cells.” Popular Science, http://www.popsci.com/scientists-grow-transplantable-hearts-with-stem-cells

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