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Scientists develop 3D-printed heart using living cells
This is a huge leap in the medical world.
Scientists at Tel Aviv University (TAU) have developed the world's first 3D-printed heart. Being a huge leap in the medical world, the 3D-printed organ has blood vessels, chambers, and ventricles.
Heart diseases account for the most number of deaths in the US. Although heart transplant is a good solution for the problem, there aren't a lot of donors available. Now, the scientists are looking for ways to transplant the available hearts.
They might use 3D bioprinting which uses living cells, biomaterials for fabrication, and growth factors. The main purpose of 3D bioprinting is to be develop a fully functional heart for transplant.
The latest heart was printed using living cells, which made it even easier to be accepted by a transplant patient's body since these could be customized according to the patient's needs. The small-scale heart was created using a biopsy of fatty tissue from a subject.
"Our results demonstrate the potential of our approach for engineering personalized tissue and organ replacement in the future," said Professor Tal Dvir of TAU's School of Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology.
The first 3D-printed heart was the size of a rabbit's heart. The scientists now hope to develop a full-sized human heart. They also plan on transplanting these hearts in animal models, which will be followed by human trials.
"Maybe, in 10 years, there will be organ printers in the finest hospitals around the world, and these procedures will be conducted routinely," Dvir said.