May 23, 2014

A US company is planning to produce kidney tissue using a 3D printer and technology developed by a scientific research firm in Australia.

The University of Queensland's commercialisation company, UniQuest, has signed an agreement with San Diego-based 3D bio-printing company to replicate a kidney with 3D printing.

The university's Professor Melissa Little and her team last year grew a tiny kidney in a laboratory dish. That will now be replicated through 3D bioprinting.

Prof Little, from the Institute of Molecular Bioscience at UQ, said 3D printing of fully functional mini-kidney tissue would enable better disease modelling and drug development.

"The mini-kidney tissue can be used to test the safety of new drugs," Prof Little said. "The sad fact is that most new drugs fail during testing in humans and a big reason for that is that they turn out to be toxic to kidneys."

"If we can test a drug for kidney toxicity before applying it to human trials, we'll save a lot of time, effort and money."

Little said her ultimate goal would be to produce artificial kidneys for humans. "There's more work to get to this point but when we do it will save lives and cut the cost of treating the disease."

According to Ian Walker, Queensland's minister for science, information technology, innovation and the arts, the Queensland Government provided $1 million to support Dr Little's research and that now the state was seeing a great outcome.

"One in three Australians are at risk of developing chronic kidney disease so what Professor Little accomplished last year was a hugely important development," Walker said.

He said the breakthrough drew enormous international interest, including from the San Diego-based Organovo, because of the continuous research progress shown in Professor Little's labs.

"The agreement with Organovo, the world leader's in 3D printing of human tissue, will optimize the cells created using Professor Little's technology in order to print kidney tissues from them using 3D bioprinting." Walker said.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications


Maybe you also like:


Debra Gerik aka StampOutSatan wrote at 5/24/2014 7:39:24 PM:

This is the kind of research I pray for, I want to commend all of the scientists and research personnel involved in such an amazing discovery and accomplishment. Keep up the good work Professor Melissa Little.

Jules Ruis wrote at 5/23/2014 7:14:20 PM:

For more information about 3D printed Fractal Human Organs, see:

Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to Feeds twitter facebook   

About provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive