Researchers Just 3D Printed The First-Ever Complete Heart Using Human Tissue

Israeli researchers say they have created the world’s first three-dimensional ,or 3D-printed heart using a patient’s own cells. The researchers, from Tel Aviv University, recently announced the experiment and showed off the new 3D printed heart. Their findings were published in the journal Advanced Science. They described the experiment as “a major medical breakthrough.” The lead researcher on the project was university professor Tal Dvir. He said in a statement that it was the first time that human cells had been used with 3D printing technology to successfully create a whole heart. Dvir added that the “printed” heart contains blood vessels which are needed to pump blood. Until recently, scientists working on medical methods combining biology and technology were only successful in 3D printing “simple tissues without blood vessels,” the research team said. The engineered heart introduced by the Israeli team was not big enough to be transplanted into a human. "At this stage, our 3D heart is small, the size of a rabbit's heart," Dvir explained. "But larger human hearts require the same technology." The development marks a step forward for 3D printing in the medical field. The technology has already expanded into many industries and has been developed to produce devices like guns, cars and homes. The researchers wrote that they took samples of fatty tissue from patients. This material was then used to develop “ink” for the 3D printing process. First, the researchers created patches of tissue from the patient’s own cells. Later, they used that same process to create a small version of a whole heart. Dvir says using the patient's own cells is important to reduce the risk that the body’s system to fight infection will reject a transplanted organ. Source : Voanews

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