JTA NEWS
16 October 2019 - 18 Tishri 5780 - י"ח תשרי ה' אלפים תש"פ
JTA NEWS :
TAU scientists print first-ever 3D heart using patient’s own cells E-mail

In a major medical breakthrough last month, Tel-Aviv University (TAU) researchers have “printed” the world’s first 3D vascularised engineered heart using a patient’s own cells and biological materials. Until now, scientists in regenerative medicine – a field positioned at the crossroads of biology and technology – have been successful in printing only simple tissues without blood vessels.

“This is the first time anyone anywhere has successfully engineered and printed an entire heart replete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers,” said Prof Tal Dvir of TAU’s School of Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and Sagol Center for Regenerative Biotechnology, who led the research for the study.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among both men and women in the US. Heart transplantation is currently the only treatment available to patients with end-stage heart failure. Given the dire shortage of heart donors, the need to develop new approaches to regenerate the diseased heart is urgent.

“This heart is made from human cells and patient-specific biological materials. In our process these materials serve as the bioinks, substances made of sugars and proteins that can be used for 3D printing of complex tissue models,” Prof Dvir said. “People have managed to 3D-print the structure of a heart in the past, but not with cells or with blood vessels. Our results demonstrate the potential of our approach for engineering personalised tissue and organ replacement in the future.”

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