Mass Producing Bioartificial Organs

It's good to see people paying more attention to the challenges of scaling and commercializing promising new medical technologies. From the MIT Technology Review: "The bioartificial kidney is one of the most promising examples to date of a bioengineered medical device. The innovative, external device passes blood through a cartridge of human kidney cells. ... But scientists now face a challenge that may be as great as designing the device itself: turning a successful academic invention into a mass-produced medical device. ... Both Humes and Lysaght liken the problem to that faced twenty years ago by researchers working with recombinant proteins, such as human insulin. Scientists could successfully make the proteins in the lab, but it took several years to figure out how to scale up that process for broad medical use. Lysaght says he's confident the same will be true for tissue-engineered products once people recognize the extent of the problem."



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