Israeli researchers have created with a 3D printer, a Mini-heart made of human tissue. The prototype, whose cells are not, however, synchronously, together, have the size of a rabbit heart, said study leader Tal Dvir of Tel Aviv University.
The heart was vessels from tissue and blood and have chambers. It is comparable with the heart of a human fetus. The researchers present their development in the journal “Advanced Science”.
“We found by biopsy tissue of a patient fat,” explained the Biotechnologist Dvir 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 accordingly, hydrogels, which were then mixed with different cell types. From this “Bio-ink” produced by the 3D printer, then the Mini-heart.
“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 is 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.
the researchers Now want to leave the prototypes in a special bioreactor tires. “The cells should learn better to interact with each other, to give better electrical signals, so the heart can pump.” Within a year, such a heart will be tested in animal experiments on rabbits or rats.
Up to a potential clinical use in humans, it takes many years, said Dvir. “We hope to be able to print, we have, within ten years, 3D-printers in hospitals, the different types of tissue.” On the way there, there is still a lot of challenges. Therefore, he could not predict when the first printed heart in a human will be implanted. “We can only hope that it will be in about ten years.”
cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in industrialized countries, write the researchers in the “Advanced Science”. Currently, a heart transplant is the only therapy for patients with heart failure in the terminal stage. Given the shortage of donor hearts the urgent need to develop new treatment approaches for such patients, the researchers emphasize.