This is the world’s first 3D-printed heart model.
Researchers at Tel Aviv University say the model is roughly the size of a rabbit’s heart and comes complete with blood vessels. It’s reportedly the first 3D-printed human heart model using human cells.
“This is the first time that a whole heart with blood vessels and cells was printed,” Professor Tal Dvir explained.
The scientists took a biopsy of fatty tissues from a patient and reprogrammed the call to become stem cells, which were then changed to be different types of heart cells. They then created biolinks, gel substances made from living cells used to create artificial live tissues using 3D printing.
Scientists placed the biolink on a biodegradable scaffold foundation to form the biological accurate model. The heart’s cells are able to independently contract, but it cannot yet pump blood.
Scientists are hopeful with further research, testing, and development, this preliminary mini 3D model could lead to functional, full-scale 3D-printed organs.
“Maybe, in ten years, there will be organ printers in the finest hospitals around the world, and these procedures with be conducted routinely,” Dvir said.