From the author: First paragraph of ‘Transplant’ - featured in ‘Metamorphosis.’
Lilith had the surgery on her eighteenth birthday. INTERGRATE was the leading research facility on heart failure. Using 3D bioprinting, they’d given her a new heart and a promised eight more years of life. The process had been easier than she’d expected. Her heart had been scanned with an MRI machine, creating a digital render of its shape and size. Her blood cells had been converted into stem cell, and then converted again into heart cells. The resulting hydrogel mixture became her bio-ink to be used with a 3D printer. At first, Lilith had feared the process. Her specialist told her the bio-ink would be printed layer by layer onto a biodegradable scaffold, providing a structure on which new cells could grow, forming the exact shape of her heart. After a slice of birthday cake, she’d gone into surgery, and three days later her hearts cells joined and begin to beat like a real heart. The following month, the scaffold was removed, and she’d had the life-saving transplant.
But now, eight years later, the ticking had begun.