This is the first 3D printed heart with cells from the patient himself
In the past we have seen how it was possible to 3D print various types of organs and prostheses, but a group of scientists from Tel Aviv University have gone further.
These researchers have 3D printed the first human heart using cells and biological material from the patient himself who could use it. The achievement is as impressive as it is promising, and could revolutionize the field of transplants in the medium term.
A small but promising heart
Regenerative medicine trying to create these types of organs has so far achieved modest successes in generating tissues without blood vessels, but this 3D printed heart is an incredible qualitative leap.
One of those most responsible for development indicated that "this is the first time that someone has developed and printed an entire organ full of cells, blood vessels, ventricles and atria."
The experimental project was developed through the biopsy of fatty tissue taken by patients that was used as "ink" for this particular print job. From it, basic but also much more complex tissues were generated, such as that complete heart that, however, is not fully functional.
In fact its size is that of a rabbit's heart, but it is a promising first step in creating a human-sized heart. Also these 3D printed hearts can only be collapsed, but the researchers believe that they will also be able to create a fully functional organ in the near future.
Once they do, they will try to transplant it into animals, something that if successful could lead to human clinical trials. The promising technique could mean that according to these experts we have 3D printed hearts valid for human transplants in about 10 years.