Doctors in Australia believe body parts custom-made from a patient's own skin cells, could be manufactured by 3D-printers within three years.
A team at St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne has used a 3D printer to make cells, including muscle and nervous system cells and cartilage.
Neurosciences director Mark Cook said techniques are being refined and will eventually lead to ways of manufacturing human skin and entire organs for use in transplants and other operations.
He believes they will eventually be able to print anything including bones, blood vessels and other components of tissue.
research director Gordon Wallis said he believes the process could be used to build complete organs in just over 10 years,