“Complications after surgery” is a vague and scary term that refers to secondary conditions, like infection, that develop post-surgery. Studies have shown that these complications affect upwards of 50 million patients worldwide and are more likely to appear in high-income countries like the United States, where surgeries are more common.

For reconstructive and cosmetic surgeries, of which there were 22 million combined in the U.S. in 2018 according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, this risk is especially palpable given their invasive. But this risk could be revolutionized by a new finding. Using new 3D bioprinting techniques, biomaterial scientists and tissue engineers from China, the U.S. and Belgium have discovered how to non-invasively grow body parts and organs underneath living skin.