Israeli researchers have created with a 3D printer, a heart made of human tissue. The prototype is about as big as a cherry. The heart is composed of tissue and blood vessels, and have chambers, said the Biotechnologist Tal Dvir of Tel Aviv University.

It was comparable with the heart of a human foetus, its cells could not, however, yet in sync together. The researchers presented their development in the journal Advanced Science (Dvir et al., 2019).

“We found via biopsy of fatty tissue of a patient,” said Dvir, who directed the study, the process. Then cellular and non-cellular components were separated. “The fat cells are reprogrammed to become stem cells, these differentiate themselves, in turn, in cardiac cells, endothelial cells and others.”

The extra-cellular Material, such as structural proteins have been processed into hydrogels, which were then mixed with different cell types. From these so-called Biotinten the 3D-printer generated then the heart.

use in humans is still many years

last “The heart is completely compatible with the patient, because it is created from his own tissue, and is therefore unlikely to lead to any immune response,” said Dvir. It was the first Time that a whole heart was printed on cell tissue and blood vessels. In similar experiments, only synthetic materials or other natural fabric has been used.

With the project, the researchers wanted to test what the 3D printing process is possible. As a next step, the prototype is supposed to Mature in a special bioreactor. Within a year, such a heart will be tested in animal experiments in rabbits or rats. If at the end of methods of treatment for humans could come, is still unclear. Dvir said, up to a possible clinical use in humans, it takes “many years”.

The researchers, writing in Advanced Science, 3D printing technologies were a “promising approach” to produce functioning human organs. It was, however, still have to overcome “several difficulties”.

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