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The First Heart 3D-Printed Using Human Stem Cells Promises a Breakthrough in Transplant Science16.04.2019

A research team from Tel Aviv University managed to 3D-print a prototype of the heart, with ventricles and blood vessels. 

The biological material used in the process was sourced from the patient’s adipose tissue. And although the prototype is only the size of a rabbit’s heart, the technology used in its creation could successfully be used to develop a full-size artificial human heart. 

Although a genuine breakthrough, the Israeli researcher’s feat is only the beginning of a long journey. The next stages will involve adapting the printed organs to get them ready for transplantation. And the current prototype is not yet able to actually pump blood—as of this point, it’s capable only of contractions. However, according to Professor Tal Dvir, the head of the research team from Tel Aviv University that developed the prototype, the technology can become mainstream in as few as 10 years, offering new treatment avenues for people with advanced heart failure who often wait for years before receiving a heart transplant. 

“The biocompatibility of engineered materials is crucial to eliminating the risk of implant rejection, which jeopardizes the success of such treatments,” said Professor Tal Dvir.

‘First’ 3D printed heart has human cells, vessels
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