Israeli scientists unveil 3D-printed heart
Israeli researchers said on Monday they have printed the world's first 3D heart with blood vessels, describing it as a major breakthrough in engineering replacements for diseased organs. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
At this stage, scientists printed pink and blue 3D rabbit-size hearts, but Professor Tal Dvir of Tel Aviv University, who led the research for the study said that "larger human hearts require the same technology." REUTERS/Amir Cohen
Dvir, in a statement, said scientists had 3D-printed the structure of the heart in the past, but that "this is the first time that a whole heart, with blood vessels and cells is printed." He said that given a dire shortage of heart donors, the need...more
It takes about three hours to 3D print a heart, but Dvir said that the hearts themselves require further development as the cells need to form a pumping ability. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
The hearts can currently contract, but still need to learn how to "behave like hearts," Dvir said, adding that he hopes to succeed and prove his method's efficacy and usefulness. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
The researchers took a biopsy of fatty tissue from patients, using their cells and biological materials as so-called bio-inks, or substances made of sugars and proteins. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
Immune-compatible cardiac patches with blood vessels were printed, and then an entire heart, Dvir said, adding that the use of "native", patient-specific materials was crucial to engineering tissues and organs successfully. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
"Maybe, in ten years, there will be organ printers in the finest hospitals around the world, and these procedures will be conducted routinely," Dvir (pictured) said in a press release published by Tel Aviv University. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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