Tel Aviv University scientists 3D print a tiny live heart using patient’s own cells
“On Monday, a team of Tel Aviv University researchers revealed the 3D printed heart that completely matches the immunological, cellular, biochemical and anatomical properties of a human patient. Until now, scientists 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, who led the research for the study. He was assisted by Nadav Noor, Dr. Assaf Shapira, Reuven Edri, Idan Gal and Lior Wertheim.
The process involved taking a biopsy of fatty tissue from patients, after which the cellular and a-cellular materials were then separated. While the cells were reprogrammed to become pluripotent stem cells and efficiently differentiated to cardiac or endothelial cells, the extracellular matrix (ECM), a three-dimensional network of extracellular macromolecules, such as collagen and glycoproteins, were processed into a personalized hydrogel that served as the printing “ink.””
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