Israeli scientists print miniature 3D heart using human tissue

15 2019 at the University of Tel Aviv shows a 3D print of heart with human tissue

Researchers at Tel Aviv University printed the tiny vascularized heart in about three hours using cells and biological material from a patient.

Until now, the university said, scientists have been successful in printing only simple tissue without blood vessels. Professor Tal Dvir is pictured holding the heart, main.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among both men and women in the United States.

That means there's an urgent need to develop new ways to regenerate a diseased heart, according to the researchers.

A 3D-printed, small-scaled human heart engineered from the patient's own materials and cells. Tal Dvir's laboratory in Tel Aviv University in Tel Aviv, Israel.

In a press release, Tel Aviv University said this technique will obviate organ transplant waiting lists and anti-rejection drugs, while transplants will be printed to fully match patients' anatomy. When the cell patch was placed on a mouse following a simulated heart attack, the researchers saw significant increase in functional capacity after just four weeks.


As such, CHF patients are frequently in-and-out of the hospital, require life-saving procedures to prevent unsafe heart rhythm, and suffer from a poor quality of life.

He showed a 3D print of a heart with visible vessels; the miniature heart measured less than 3 centimetres in size. "Our results demonstrate the potential of our approach for engineering personalized tissue and organ replacement in the future", he said.

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. The extracellular matrix (ECM), a three-dimensional network of extracellular macromolecules, such as collagen and glycoproteins, was processed into a personalized hydrogel that served as the printing "ink".

First, patient-specific cardiac patches were created followed by the entire heart, the statement said.

The researchers are now planning on culturing the printed hearts in the lab and "teaching them to behave" like hearts, according to Prof. First, they will transplant them into animals and eventually into humans.

Dvir hopes that within the next decade "there will be organ printers in the finest hospitals around the world, and these procedures will be conducted routinely". "In fact, this method allows us to print any organ that is required for a transplant and we believe that this method opens the door to future technologies, which will make the need for organ donors completely unnecessary". And yes! They even provide blueprints for 3D-printed guns. Scientists mixed the differentiated cells to form bioinks, which were layered onto scaffolding using a specialized 3D printer to form a small heart.

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