Israeli researchers unveil 3D printed heart created from patient cells
By Akshay Kedari  Date: 2019-04-17

Israeli researchers unveil 3D printed heart created from patient cells

Apparently, this is a first project where the research community has been successful in engineering and printing an entire heart, complete with blood vessels, ventricles, chambers, and cells.

A new medical innovation has made its presence felt in the healthcare space, as researchers unveil that they have used patient cells to 3D-print a miniature heart. The revelation by the research community is said to have sowed the seeds of hope in many, that the technique may one day be modified to heal heart ailments or even engineer new organs for transplants.

As per sources with the knowledge of the development, the 3D printing process involved the biopsy of the fatty tissue surrounding the abdominal organs. The cells in the tissue were then separated from the rest of the content – basically the extracellular matrix linking these cells. Further on, the cells were reprogrammed so as to become stem cells, equipped with the capability to differentiate into cells of the heart. The matrix has also been processed to obtain a personalized hydrogel which served as the printing ink. The heart patches with blood vessels were then created from the cells and hydrogel, and from here on, the entire heart was created.

Professor Tal Dvir, School of Molecular Cell Biology & Biotechnology, Tel Aviv University, has been quoted saying that this is a first project where the research community has been successful in engineering and printing an entire heart, complete with blood vessels, ventricles, chambers, and cells. While the 3D prototype is rather minuscule at this stage (nearly the size of a rabbit’s heart), the same technology will come to be deployed to create a larger human heart.

Incidentally, Professor Tal Dvir is also the senior author of the said research. Elaborating on the usage of the patient’s own cells, Dvir claims that this is the most pivotal step to engineering the organs and tissues.

Post this step, the researchers plan to soon transplant this 3D-printed heart in animal prototypes and later on, in humans. It has been speculated that within the next decade or so, such procedures may be commonplace, and organ printers may be routinely available in the finest hospitals worldwide.

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Akshay Kedari    

Akshay Kedari

A qualified computer engineering graduate, Akshay Kedari takes pride in having his way with words. Following his passion for content creation, he writes insightful pieces on aeresearch.net and a few other portals. Also endorsed with a short-term experience in web deve...

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