Israeli scientists for the first time in the world printed a living heart

    Printed Living Heart
    The future is already here, it is alive and beating. Scientists from Tel Aviv University printed the world's first three-dimensional heart with blood vessels using personalized "ink" from collagen, a protein that supports cellular structures, and other biological components.
    This extraordinary breakthrough was reported by scientists, Professor Tal Dvir , Dr. Assaf Shapira from the Faculty of Natural Sciences of TAU and Nadav Nur, his doctoral candidate, in the journal Advanced Science .

    The heart itself is the size of a rabbit, and it still does not work. Dvir noted that the “seal” of the human heart will use the same technology.

    “We need to develop improved technology,” he said. “The cells have not yet formed pumping ability; they may be shrinking now, but we need them to work together. We hope that we will succeed and show the effectiveness and usefulness of our method. ”

    In other words, the next step is to grow a heart the size of a rodent’s heart in a laboratory, print and mature it, and also train an artificial but biological organ to “behave” like a heart. You also need to test printed hearts on animals to test their functionality.

    Professor Tal Dvir

    Professor Tal Dvir

    The breakthroughs of scientists in Tel Aviv are a milestone in the science of transplantology: tissues were printed before, but there was no vascularization - blood vessels - without which the normal functioning of complex tissue is impossible.
    Tissue printing was before, but only simple tissues without blood vessels. “This is the first time anyone has successfully designed and printed a whole heart with cells, blood vessels, ventricles, and cameras,” Dvir said.
    For example, scientists successfully printed cartilage and aortic valve tissue, but the goal was to create tissue with vascularization: blood vessels, including capillaries, without which organs cannot survive, not to mention functioning.

    Tel Aviv scientists began with human adipose tissue and separated cellular and non-cellular components. Then they reprogrammed the cells to turn into pluripotent stem cells, which could then become muscle or endothelial cells.

    Non-cellular materials, including a large number of proteins, were processed into a “personalized hydrogel,” which served as “ink,” Dvir explained.

    Assaf Shapira looks at the seal of the heart

    Although technology is still at an early stage, print media are already being used for training purposes in medical schools and with doctors to plan complex operations.

    Dvir hopes that the technology will produce transplantable hearts, as well as patches in the regeneration of diseased hearts.

    The organ seal consists of three main stages. The first stage of prepress preparation involves scanning an organ, for example, using an MRI. At the second stage, an organ is printed, layer by layer, and at the third stage, the "maturing" of the printed organ in the bioreactor occurs.

    According to WHO, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the world, and transplantation is currently the only option for patients in the worst cases.
    But the number of donors is limited, and many die in anticipation. And patients who receive transplants sometimes die due to an immune response.

    The heart was considered especially difficult to manufacture because of its great complexity and the pressure that it needed to withstand.

    The key point is that using the patient’s own cells significantly reduces the likelihood of an immune reaction, explained Dvir. His greatest hope is that organ printing will make their donation unnecessary.
    “Perhaps in 10 years, printers and organs will appear in the best hospitals in the world, and these procedures will become regular,” he said.
    He also said that hospitals are likely to start with simpler organs than the heart.


    Israeli Scientists Print World's First 3-D Heart - Haaretz

    Israeli scientists unveil world's first 3D-printed heart with human tissue - The Times of Israel

    3D Printing of Personalized Thick and Perfusable Cardiac Patches and Hearts - Advanced Science

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