Research has been fighting against organ failure and shortage of donations by supplying artificial organs for many years. With the raise of new technologies, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, many organs can benefit of an artificial equivalent: thanks to retinal implants some blind people can visualize stimuli, an artificial heart can be proposed in case of cardiac failure while awaiting for a heart transplant, artificial larynx enables laryngectomy patients to an almost normal life, while the diabetic can get a glycemic self-regulation controlled by smartphones with an artificial device. Dialysis devices become portable, as well as the oxygenation systems for terminal respiratory failure. Bright prospects are being explored or might emerge in a near future. However, the retrospective assessment of putative side effects is not yet sufficient. Finally, the cost of these new devices is significant even if the advent of three dimensional printers may reduce it.
© 2017 médecine/sciences – Inserm.