Heart failure is the number one cause of death in the developed world. But now scientists new findings for the rules of heart transplantation. The team has successfully printed a 3d model heart using cell matter from a human source.
A team of scientist lead by Dr. Tal Dvir of Tel Aviv University’s Faculty of Life Science, for the first time anyone anywhere has successfully engineered and printed an entire heart complete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles, and chambers.
While the team’s achievement is notable in this regard, Dvir contends its only the first breakthrough among many that will be needed for a truly operable organ: “We need to develop the printed heart further,” Dvir said.
“The cells need to form a pumping ability; they can currently contract, but we need them to work together. Our hope is that we will succeed and prove our method’s efficacy and usefulness.”
It is pretty easy to imagine the printing of a 3d wood model, but how to go about printing a fleshy organ like a heart? This is achieved through a 3d ink made up of a biomaterial.
That is generated through synthesizing a patient’s cardiac cells with collagenous nanofibers, which together form a weak gel-like substance. Only after being heated to 37 °C their form becomes resilient.
The bioinks are then printed to engineer vascularized patches and complex cellularized structures. The resulting autologous engineered tissue can be transplanted back into the patient, to repair or replace injured/diseased organs with low risk of rejection.