My Liver Is Broken, Can You Print Me a New One?

Marty J. Wolf, Nir Fresco

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


3D printing is a process of producing solid objects of various shapes (e.g., spare plastic parts for cars) from a digital model by adding successive layers of material. More recently, 3D bioprinting technology has been used for producing living tissues and organs. 3D bioprinting provides another avenue to analyze the increasingly informational nature of physical objects and the ethical challenges it brings. It uses both specific information provided by the “digital model” and the instructional information of its printing program. While bioprinting holds promise to alleviate shortages of certain biological tissues, in this paper we begin to address ethical challenges that arise, in particular, from the possible avenues of exploiting this information and questions about ownership and quality of as well as accessibility to this information. Further, we suggest that 3D bioprinting brings some urgency to addressing philosophical questions about personal identity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSynthese Library
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameSynthese Library
ISSN (Print)0166-6991
ISSN (Electronic)2542-8292


  • Embryonic Stem Cell Research
  • Ethical Challenge
  • Persistence Condition
  • Personal Identity
  • Quality Control Process

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • History
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Logic


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