by Nick Kolyohin
JERUSALEM, April 15 (Xinhua) – Tel Aviv scientists said on Monday that they printed the first 3D heart by using the patient's cells and materials.
The heart, which was produced in a laboratory, fully corresponds to the biological characteristics of the patient's heart. It took about three hours to press the entire heart.
Making a human heart model is a major medical breakthrough. However, the printed vascularized and manipulated heart is about 100 times smaller than a real human heart.
The heart, comparable in size to a rabbit, has demonstrated the potential of 3D printing technology for making personalized tissues and organs.
"This is the first time that an entire heart has been successfully designed and printed with cells, blood vessels, chambers, and chambers," said Tal Dvir, professor of Tel Aviv University.
Cardiovascular disease is a major cause of death among people around the world. Heart transplantation is currently the only treatment available for patients with terminal heart failure.
Given the serious shortage of heart doers, it is urgent to develop new approaches to repair the heart. It seems that 3D-printed hearts could be the solution.
Research for the study was conducted jointly by Dvir, Assaf Shapira from TAU & # 39; s Life Sciences faculty, and Nadav Moor, a Ph.D. student in the Dvir laboratory.
Shapira, the laboratory manager, said: "we take a biopsy of fat tissue from the patient and separate it into its components: cells and extracellular matrix."
"While the extracellular matrix is being processed into a gel, the cells are genetically engineered to become stem cells and differentiate into heart muscle cells and blood vessel-forming cells."
The researchers then mixed the cells with the gel to make "bio-inks" that were loaded into the 3D printer. The printer was also loaded with CT or MRI scans of the patient.
The scans generated high-resolution structures of the heart, with patches that correspond to the anatomical and biochemical characteristics of the patient, thereby reducing the risk of rejection or malfunctioning in future transplants.
The research is now focused on studying the behavior and functionality of the printed spots and hearts under controlled conditions in the laboratory and after transplantation into animal models.
An artificial heart is expected to reduce the risk of implant rejection compared to real heart transplantation from one person to another, a primary reason for unsuccessful treatments.
"Ideally, the biomaterial should have the same biochemical, mechanical, and topographical properties of the patient's tissues," Dvir said.
The researchers are now planning to grow the printed hearts in the laboratory and "teach them to behave like hearts," Dvir said. The next step in their research is transplanting 3D-printed hearts into animals.
In the meantime, the lab heart has no pumping power, currently the cells contract, but they do not work together. There are many challenges before the first man-made heart is transplanted.
One of the biggest challenges is to make a mature, human and fully functional heart, and it needs billions of cells instead of millions, on the small model that the university could produce.
After scientists have made a pump sample, it is first tested on animals before going a long way in regulating that advanced process.
Perhaps in ten years' time there will be organ painters in the best hospitals around the world and these procedures will be performed routinely, according to the Tel Aviv University statement.