Israeli researches have produced the “world’s first printed heart” out of human tissue. The breakthrough will hopefully make it possible for full transplants to be performed without requiring human hearts.
Tal Dvir from Tel Aviv University tells The Jerusalem Post that this is the first time anyone has engineered and printed an entire heart complete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles. In the past, only simple tissues could be printed without blood vessels.
Unfortunately, the technology to create a full-sized heart might only come about several years down the road, as the 3D-printed heart is currently only small enough for a rabbit. However, this triumphant leap proves that 3D print patches and full transplants might be available in the future. Dvir says the cells can currently contract, but they will need to be developed to simulate pumping.
Based on the findings of the team reported in Advanced Science, it is more likely for a transplant to be successful if the heart is made of the patient’s own cells.[…]