Living cells are small. So small that they can’t be seen with a naked human eye. So small that we weren’t even aware of them until Antonie van Leeuwenhoek had his works on the “little animals” published in 1673. Cells are also fairly complex, having many basic and specialized organelles within them which differ with the function of the cell. Both of these defining features of cells come together to make them incredibly hard to reproduce outside of a body, which should explain why blood is so valuable and why organ donors are so important. Now imagine, for a moment, what it would be like if a Russian start-up by the name of 3D Bioprinting Solutions could print a functional thyroid gland fit for implantation, at this stage, in a mouse. You can stop imagining, because that is exactly what a Russian start-up by the name of 3D Bioprinting Solutions has done. The thyroid gland, like most glands, is a part of the endocrine system. It is located at the anterior (front) of the neck and its left and right lobes straddle the trachea. The thyroid has only one function, and that is to make thyroid hormone. Be careful not to be fooled by this simplicity, however, as this hormone has a cellular activity stimulant effect on nearly all bodily tissues. There are many complications that can affect a thyroid, such as thyroiditis, solitary thyroid nodules, thyroid cancer, and goiter, each being all the more terrifying when it is considered that the ATA estimates over 12% of the US population will develop a thyroid condition during the course of their lifetime. The thyroid is a relatively small gland of the body, but losing it could complicate life beyond what is financially bearable. This is why 3D Bioprinting Solutions has chosen the gland to kick off the bioprinting voyage. They plan to be ready for production of kidneys by 2018. The company is very secretive about their methods and boastful of their plans, but it seems that they are on their way to solving key dilemmas of modern medicine through their work. “Создавая возможности будущего БИОПРИНТИНГКОНФЕРЕНЦИЯОБУЧЕНИЕ.” 3D Bioprinting Solutions. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2015. “First Ever 3D Printed Thyroid Gland Announced by Russia’s 3D Bioprinting Solutions.” 3DPrintcom. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2015. “Www.3ders.org.” 3ders.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2015.