New Technology 'Grows' Man-Made Body Parts

Man-made (or lab-grown) organs have gone from science fiction to fact in recent years. While lab-grown ears have become famous thanks to the striking picture of a mouse with an ear grown on its back, recent technology, including 3-D printing and stem cell use, has meant more complex organs are being made by scientists.

Everything from ears to tracheas and, most recently, vaginas has been recreated in a lab setting. But doctors have also refined old-fashioned surgical techniques to give patients who have been disfigured a second nose or even a face through operations.

To show just how far this seemingly fantastical medicine has come, weve found a few of the most impressive man-made body parts.

See More Medical Marvels

A study published this week in the Lancet Medical Journal revealed how researchers were able to grow vaginas in a laboratory setting.

Researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., and Metropolitan Autonomous University in Mexico City took tissue samples from four adolescent female patients from Mexico between the ages of 13 and 18, and then were able to construct vaginal components by culturing and expanding tissues in special incubators.

The patients, who were born with incomplete vaginas because of a genetic disorder, then underwent surgery and had the vaginal tissue implanted. In the years following the surgery, the patients reported normal sexual function.

In China, doctors were able to regrow a mans nose. The twist is that they had to temporarily put the nose on the mans forehead.

The patient identified as Xiaolian, according to Reuters, had an infection that left his nose damaged and disfigured.

To help him, doctors used tissue expanders and reshaped a second nose over a period of months on Xiaolians forehead. Eventually, when surgery is performed, theyll use cartilage from his rib to help strengthen his nose.

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New Technology 'Grows' Man-Made Body Parts

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