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‘A new bladder made from my own cells gave me a normal life’

'A new bladder made from my own cells gave me a normal life'

Written by David

September 11, 2018

Luke Massella, aged 10 in 2001 with his mother and uncle, had to undergo surgery many times Bioprinting human tissue using specialised 3D printers promises to transform medicine, with implications for organ transplants, cancer treatment and antibiotic development. Luke Massella is one of about 10 people alive walking around with a replacement bladder that has been grown from his own cells. He was born with a condition called spina bifida, which, from birth, left a gap in his spine. By 10 years old, he had survived a dozen surgeries and beaten doctors’ initial expectations that he’d never walk. But then a malfunctioning bladder made his kidneys fail. “I was kind of facing the possibility I might have to do dialysis [blood purification via machine] for the rest of my life,” he says. “I wouldn’t be able to play sports, and have the normal kid life with my brother.” An […]

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