Artificial organs are man-made tools that are implanted or incorporated into the human body. These are used to substitute a natural body organ, for the function of reinstating a definite body organ’s role. Pacemakers for the Brain, which includes deep brain stimulators, artificially developed Cardiac and Pylorus valves. Penile implants are used to replace Corpora Cavernosa. Cochlear ear implant devices are used for rectifying hearing issues and Artificial cardiac pacemakers for heart ailments. Prosthetics, are often referred to as artificial limbs are the most common artificial organs in use.
Researchers at the Brown University have already developed artificial human ovaries. In July 2011, the surgeons in Sweden have also executed the foremost implantation of an artificial trachea.
The biggest challenge in using artificial organs is the risk of internal infections rejections and device break down. As time pass by, the artificial devices may be subjected to malfunctions. Such organs may have worn out parts or deterioration of the device. A certain model of the synthetic heart named as the Abircor, has a weight of about 2 pounds. Additional external devices weighs approximately 14 pounds. An additional Battery pack is also needed for the functioning of the organ. The device is sure to hinder the free movement and normal life of the patient.
Lab-Grown Artificial Organs
Many organs and tissues can be grown in a lab so that it mimics the real organ. Researchers in California have developed innovative small intestine tissues in mice. This development is considered to be a big leap towards finding a way to develop small intestine tissues in humans as well. Researchers are now extensively working to develop an artificial pancreas for humans.
Researchers at the RIKEN Research Center in Japan are now working on developing a functional pituitary gland derived from stem cells of mice. The same researchers have already developed retina tissues that are compatible with the mice. They report that, synthesized organs offer a high opportunity to create many of the human glands including the liver.
Ethics Related Issues
There is a high level of ethical dilemma whenever a new technology is incorporated in the medical field. Organ synthesis is no exception for that. The first preference should be given to the younger patients who are facing a medical condition due to a reason beyond human control. The facilities offered by virtue of advanced development in the field of organ synthesis should not spread a wrong message for the addicts of smoking, alcoholics, and drug addicts. Medical cases emerging out of such abuses should not be offered the fruits of life saving technologies. Old age is a natural phenomenon and hence people suffering from organ failures due to old-age may also abstain from the beneficiary category.
The Governments of the States should frame a law regarding the use and administration of artificial organs. A department headed by senior administrators, medical experts and human rights activists can be organized and the team needs to work under a well written law that offers generous access to the deserving citizens to the benefits of the advanced developments in the healthcare scenario.