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US pours $160 million into making tissues and artificial organs

The public-private investment will help with manufacturing and repairing tissues.
Luchschen via Getty Images

Getting a viable organ transplant is a real problem. There are only so many donors to go around, and the organs that do show up might be tossed out if they're not used within a matter of hours. The US government isn't satisfied with this state of affairs, though. As part of a broader effort to reduce organ waiting lists, it's unveiling $160 million in public-private investments for a new Advanced Tissue Biofabrication Manufacturing Innovation Institute. The organization will develop techniques for repairing and replacing tissues that could lead to artificial organs. Simply speaking, you wouldn't need someone to donate an organ -- doctors could either fix damaged parts or transplant an artificial organ created on demand.

That's a long way off. However, the initiative should also help out in the short term. Over 30 transplant centers are sharing data to help find kidney transplants that would be hard to match, for instance, while efforts are underway to improve the efficiency of sharing and transporting organs. All told, you may not have to worry so much about waiting months for life-saving transplant surgery.

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