#MajorBreakthrough: World's first 3D-printed heart using hum
Israeli researchers have created an entire 3D-printed heart made from human cells in what they say is a world first.

The heart doesn't beat and is too small for use in people — it's only about the size of a rabbit's heart. But the little organ is considered a big advance in the ongoing effort to find new treatments for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States.

Heart transplantation is currently the only good option for people with severe heart failure. But donor organs are in such short supply that, on average, 18 Americans die each day before one becomes available. Being able to 3D-print a human heart when needed could conceivably help save many lives that are now lost.

"Maybe, in 10 years, there will be organ printers in the finest hospitals around the world, and these procedures will be conducted routinely," Tal Dvir, a researcher with Tel Aviv University's School of Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology and the leader of the team of scientists who created the heart, told NBC News MACH in an email.

A paper describing the research was published Monday in the journal Advanced Science.

Previously, scientists were able to 3D-print heart structures that lacked cells or blood vessels. But the new 3D-printed heart contains cells, blood vessels, chambers and other structures a heart needs to function normally. To make it, Dvir and his team took fatty tissue from patients and converted the fat cells into stem cells. These were added to a gel and then further processed until they turned into heart cells. The cell-containing "bioink" was added to a 3D printer and used to build the experimental organ layer by layer.

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/israeli-scientists-create-world-s-first-3d-printed-heart-using-ncna996031
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