In Photos: Printing Tiny Organs for 'Body on a Chip'

Body on a Chip Technology

Miniature human organs made by 3D printing could create a “body on a chip” that enables better drug testing

(Image credit: WIFM.)

Miniature human organs made by 3D printing could create a "body on a chip" that enables better drug testing. That futuristic idea has become a new bioprinting project backed by $24 million from the U.S. Department of Defense.

Miniature samples

body on a chip, 3d printing, 3d printed organs, bioprinting, drug testing, health technology

(Image credit: WIFM.)

Developed by scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital, this system of pumps and fluid channels houses miniature tissues samples that can be exposed to toxins as well as potential treatments. The ultimate goal is to evaluate heart, lung, liver and blood vessel tissue.

Printing 3d organs

Hyun-Wook Kang oversees the 3D printer that will be used to print miniature organs for the "body on a chip" system.

(Image credit: WIFM.)

Hyun-Wook Kang oversees the 3D printer that will be used to print miniature organs for the "body on a chip" system.

Assembling the body

Aleks Skardal, post-doctoral fellow, assembles part of the "body on a chip" system.

(Image credit: WIFM.)

Aleks Skardal, post-doctoral fellow, assembles part of the "body on a chip" system.

Printing in progress

A kidney structure being printed by a 3D printer.

(Image credit: WIFM.)

A kidney structure being printed by a 3D printer.

Checking out the images

body on a chip, 3d printing, 3d printed organs, bioprinting, drug testing, health technology

(Image credit: WIFM.)

Ivy Mead, B.S., doctoral student, views cellular images from the microscope.

Optimal engineering

body on a chip, 3d printing, 3d printed organs, bioprinting, drug testing, health technology

(Image credit: WIFM.)

A combination microscope and incubator is used to image tissue over time. This technology will allow scientists to optimize the engineering of organ structures that will form the “Body on a Chip.”