Scientists unveil ‘first’ 3D print of heart with human tissue, vessels

Professor Tal Dvir presents a 3D print of heart with human tissue at the University of Tel Aviv

"People have managed to 3D-print the structure of a heart in the past, but not with cells or with blood vessels". For instance, a team of researchers at ETH Zurich created a 3D printed artificial heart back in 2017, but rather than using human tissue, those researchers used a flexible material.

As stated in the abstract of the study, "These results demonstrate the potential of the approach for engineering personalized tissues and organs, or for drug screening in an appropriate anatomical structure and patient‐specific biochemical microenvironment".

For the first time in history, scientists have created a three-dimensional, fully vascularized human heart.

"This is the first time anyone anywhere has successfully engineered and printed an entire heart replete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers", says Prof.

The proof-of-concept feat could pave the way for a new type of organ transplant.

This latest invention represents a major turning point for patients with congestive heart failure (CHF), as heart transplantation is the only definitive treatment for patients in the end-stages of the disease. But there is a lack of heart donors.

He added that the heart is made from human cells, and "patient-specific biological materials". "In our process, these materials serve as the bio-inks, substances made of sugars and proteins that can be used for 3D printing of complex tissue models".

He showed a 3D print of a heart with visible vessels; the miniature heart measured less than 3 centimetres in size. (Noor et al., Advanced Science, 2019).

The research team revealed in the findings, published in the journal Advanced Science, that they took a biopsy of fatty tissue from patients, reprogramming their cells and processing extracellular molecules into a personalised hydrogel. Scientists mixed the differentiated cells to form bioinks, which were layered onto scaffolding using a specialized 3D printer to form a small heart.

"The biocompatibility of engineered materials is crucial to eliminating the risk of implant rejection, which jeopardizes the success of such treatments", said Dvir.

"It's completely biocompatible and matches the patient", reducing the chances of rejection inside the body, said Tal Dvir, the professor who directed the project.

Until now, researchers have only been able to 3D-print simple tissues lacking blood vessels. Although the hearts will need more work before they can pump blood, the scientists hope to begin animal trials within a year.

While it's not clear a printer can produce hearts that are superior to human ones, "perhaps by printing patches we can improve or take out diseased areas in the heart and replace them with something that works" perfectly, he said.

Related:

Comments

Latest news

Measles cases up 300% worldwide in 2019, says WHO
In January, WHO named the anti-vaccination movement among the top 10 global health threats for 2019 . Nancy Messonier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

Kim Jong Un says 3rd summit with Trump possible on certain condition
He also set the U.S. a deadline of "until the end of this year" to demonstrate that new talks could be more productive. In the months since Hanoi, there have been no known follow-up negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang .

Tiger Woods Will Be Awarded Presidential Medal Of Freedom
While it may seem like a bit much, and maybe it is, it's also not unprecedented for a major sports figure to receive the award. The president is an avid golfer who played a round with Woods at Trump's golf club in Jupiter, Florida, in February.

David Griffin agrees to join Pelicans in executive role
The New Orleans Pelicans have named David Griffin the team's new Executive VP of Basketball Operations, according to reports. David Griffin will be the man charged with getting the best possible return for Anthony Davis .

Sony celebrates anniversary with incredible FREE PlayStation gift
On 20th April past year , God of War released on PS4 and totally changed how many of us saw the character of Kratos. The process is more or less the same for the free avatar pack, when it becomes available on Wednesday, April 17.

Other news