The age of artificial organs
Despite the rise of gene editing technology, many doctors still see conventional surgical operation as the primary treatment method in the coming decades because of gene editing’s nascent development stage and ethical issues surrounding the technology.
And there’s plenty of innovation going on in the realm of surgery. For example, 3-D printing technology is finding its way into hospitals with artificial skin, bones and even tissues for research or transplant being fabricated from 3-D printers.
As so-called bioprinting technology is growing more sophisticated, the market is expected to expand, reaching an estimated $1.82 billion by 2022, according to a report by Grand View Research, a U.S. consulting firm.
In response, a handful of Korean start-ups and hospitals are venturing into this new technology.
MEDICALIP, an in-house medical start-up at Seoul National University Hospital, developed an artificial liver made of silicon using 3-D printing.
Park Sang-joon, head of the start-up and a professor at the hospital, said the success rate of excising cancer cells in the liver increased to 98.8 percent from 85 percent when doctors conducted trial operations with the artificial liver.