On April 15, Israeli researchers at Tel Aviv University have successfully 3D printed artificial heart using patient’s biological material and cells. In the past, they could only print simple tissues without any vessels. But now, the heart has cells, ventricles, blood vessels, and chambers. Will it be actually used in real life?
Process of creating a 3D printed artificial heart
The process of 3D printing an organ is not an easy task. The researchers have been working hard to see the outcome. They started the process by taking fatty tissues from the patients. The cellular material from these tissues is used to create that heart.
Dr Atala explained that the tissues are first transformed into stem cells. Later on, they are differentiated into different cell types in the heart. In the final process, the cells are printed into a skeleton or scaffold that gives it a shape of the heart.
While it looks real, it does not pump blood like a real heart. The most astonishing feature about this heart is that all its cells came from a single donor. Moreover, all the cells of this heart are alive.
According to Dr Atala, the heart will start functioning if it is connected with the blood vessels. Although, the heart is not that big. It is only about the size of a rabbit’s heart. But who knew that it was possible to make an organ with the help of some tissues. Maybe one day, researchers will surely produce a human-sized heart.
Currently, the researchers have something big in their minds. Once the entire process is complete, they will try to transplant the vascularized engineered heart into the animal model. We will have to wait for some time to learn the conclusion of this great development. For more updates, please stay tuned to BlockToro.