Imagine this: you need an organ, but there aren't any available to you. The organ store is fresh out of organs, because they just had a huge organ sale.
What do you do?
It's true, scientists are playing with the idea of growing organs, which really isn't anything new. What's new is that they want to make them be able to tell us stuff, like inflammation, rejection and other health indicators.
They want to combine grown tissue with biosensors!
Another group of scientists is incorporating silicon nanowires. These wires, with diameters about 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, have a fine electrical sensitivity, picking up voltages of less than one-thousandth of a watt — which can be monitored.
Potentially they can even be wired to release drugs to help with whatever is going wrong!
Here's what one of them said:
"One could foresee following the functionality of these organs — it is like having a mini-ICU (intensive care unit) right at the site of the engineered tissue or organ implanted."
Super cool, but right now, it's just the future.
We'll be waiting, docs, but we won't wait too long!
[Image via AP Images.]