Harvard scientists have created a "heart on a chip"

    Recently, researchers at Harvard University, using 3D printing technology, created a “heart on a chip” that can turn the field of medical research. Soon, instead of animal testing, doctors will be able to use this technology to better understand what is happening inside our body. Each such “heart” is created from different materials, and also includes built-in sensors that measure muscle activity. All this is created using a 3D printer, and the work jewelery is measured in micrometers.


    "Heart on a microchip" accurately recreates the heartbeat and reactions of the human heart. However, scientists explain that their development will not be used to create viable organs, but to study tissue reactions, thus avoiding the use of animal tissues, whose characteristics are not always absolutely identical to human ones.

    Organs on the chip have already been presented earlier: the same team of researchers in 2015 created a “lung on the chip”, and in January a group of scientists from the Massachusetts University of Technology developed a “liver on the chip”. The purpose of such developments is to help us better understand our own body.

    The lead author of the study, Johan Lind (Johan Lind), noted that such tissues will become a platform for studying various diseases and the effects of new drugs and toxic substances on the human body. " In addition, in the future it can serve as an additional tool for research or even an alternative for testing drugs on animals, " the researcher added.

    With the help of "heart on a chip," scientists will be able to better study the nature of cardiac diseases and the effect of various stimuli on heart tissue. This is not a human heart in our usual understanding, but an excellent help for medical research.

    The created “heart on a chip” differs from the previously developed organs on chips in two main parameters: the production process and the method of obtaining research data by scientists. 3D printing took place using six special "ink", which automated production and greatly simplified the process of obtaining data.

    Comparing their development with the method of producing other organs on chips, Harvard scientists note that their method does not need “from a false multi-stage lithographic process, and to obtain data from a chip, you no longer need to use a microscope or high-speed cameras ”.

    The new production process will help create the necessary tissue much faster, easier and cheaper, in addition, simplifying the method of obtaining data by researchers.

    In the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, they noted that " organs on chips can fundamentally change today's approach to the study of human physiology, the course of diseases and the influence of new drugs ."

    We are also interested in using our platform to study children's cardiovascular diseases and develop effective methods for their treatment ,” added Lind. According to him, the developed method can also be used to create other “organs on chips”, and his team is now addressing the issue of mass production. In addition, some of the data obtained in the course of research will help to improve the process of creating organs for transplantation and to develop the direction of bio printing in general.

    Similar experiments are conducted not only at Harvard but also by domestic scientists. For example, the Skolkovo Innovation Center is very active in this direction. Moreover, in a few weeks they promise to show and tell about their achievements in this area.

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