Israeli researchers have printed the world’s first 3-D vascularized, engineered heart using human tissue. They used a patient’s own cells and biological material and the heart has blood vessels.
The 3-D heart produced at TAU is only the size of a rabbit heart but larger human hearts could be produced using the same technology.
The next step is to teach the hearts to behave like human hearts. They will transplant them into animals and eventually into humans. It will be ten years before there are the first 3D printed heart transplants.
3D printing is a promising approach for engineering whole organs.
They still need efficient produce a lot more stem cells (iPSCs) for many large, functioning organs. New bioengineering approaches are needed to provide long‐term cultivation of the organs and efficient mass transfer, while supplying biochemical and physical cues for maturation.
The printed blood vessel network demonstrated in this study is still limited. Strategies to image the entire blood vessels of the heart and to incorporate them in the blueprint of the organ are required. Advanced technologies to precisely print small‐diameter blood vessels within thick structures needs to be developed.
Generation of thick vascularized tissues that fully match the patient still remains an unmet challenge in cardiac tissue engineering. Here, a simple approach to 3D‐print thick, vascularized, and perfusable cardiac patches that completely match the immunological, cellular, biochemical, and anatomical properties of the patient is reported. To this end, a biopsy of an omental tissue is taken from patients. While the cells are reprogrammed to become pluripotent stem cells, and differentiated to cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells, the extracellular matrix is processed into a personalized hydrogel. Following, the two cell types are separately combined with hydrogels to form bioinks for the parenchymal cardiac tissue and blood vessels. The ability to print functional vascularized patches according to the patient’s anatomy is demonstrated. Blood vessel architecture is further improved by mathematical modeling of oxygen transfer. The structure and function of the patches are studied in vitro, and cardiac cell morphology is assessed after transplantation, revealing elongated cardiomyocytes with massive actinin striation. Finally, as a proof of concept, cellularized human hearts with a natural architecture are printed. These results demonstrate the potential of the approach for engineering personalized tissues and organs, or for drug screening in an appropriate anatomical structure and patient‐specific biochemical microenvironment.
SOURCES- Advanced Science, Jeruselam Post
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com