A Wake Forest University researcher has successfully created 18 types of tissue, including a sheep heart valve, in his laboratory.
Dr. Anthony Atala, who is studying the science behind growing new organs, uses cells in a laboratory and an ink-jet printer for the purpose.
"When people ask me 'what do you do,' we grow tissues and organs. We are making body parts that we can implant right back into patients," the Environmental News Network quoted him as telling CBS.
He believes that soon researchers will start growing organs like human hearts in laboratories from a patient's own cells, doing away with the need for organ donors.
Atala even hopes that the injection of stem cells will facilitate the healing of damaged organs internally, reducing the need for open-heart surgery and other invasive procedures.