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Israeli scientists 3D printing A small, living heart of human tissue



The future is here. In a world first, Israeli scientists have created a living heart in a revolutionary new 3D printing process that combines a patient's human tissue.

In November, researchers from the University of Tel Aviv announced that they had invented the first fully personalized tissue implant from a laboratory to create proprietary biomaterials and cells that pave the way for a new technology that allows one small adipose tissue biopsy each Type of tissue implant to develop.

Now, with their innovative process in the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory led by Professor Tal Dvir, associate professor at the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology of the University of Tel Aviv, these researchers have created a real heart.

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"This is the first e time that someone has successfully developed and printed a whole heart with cells, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers somewhere. Professor Dvir said in a press conference at the university on Monday.

The process involved the ingestion of adipose tissue, whereupon the cellular and the a-cellular material were separated. While the cells were reprogrammed into pluripotent stem cells and efficiently differentiated into cardiac or endothelial cells, the extracellular matrix (ECM), a three-dimensional network of extracellular macromolecules such as collagen and glycoproteins, was processed into a personalized hydrogel that served as the "ink" ink. said the University of Tel Aviv in a statement.

The differentiated cells were then mixed with biofarbenes and used to print patient-specific, immunocompatible heart plasters with blood vessels and then a very tiny heart.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death worldwide. In 2016 alone, an estimated 17.9 million people died of heart disease, a majority due to heart attack and stroke.

Heart transplantation is currently the only treatment available to patients with end-stage heart failure. And with a lack of heart donors, this scientific breakthrough development can pave the way in the medical world and pave the way for a possible revolution in organ and tissue transplantation.

"This heart is made up of human cells and patient-specific biological substances. In our process, these materials serve as bio-compounds, substances from sugars and proteins that can be used for the 3D printing of complex tissue models, "said Professor Dvir.

"In the past, humans have been able to print the structure of a heart with 3D printing, but not with cells or blood vessels, and our results show the potential our approach to the development of personalized tissue and organ replacement in the future, "he added.

The University of Tel Aviv explained that in the current method of tissue engineering for regenerative medicine, the cells are isolated from the patient and cultured in biomaterials, synthetic or natural, derived from plants or animals to assemble into a functional tissue , After transplantation, they can trigger an immune response that can lead to rejection of the implanted tissue.

Patients receiving engineered tissues or other implants often need to be treated with immunosuppressants, which can endanger the patient's health. 19659002] With this development "patients no longer have to wait for transplants or take medication to prevent their rejection. Instead, the required organs are printed and completely personalized for each patient, "the university said in a statement.

The process was described in an article published on Monday titled" 3D Printing of Personalized Thick and Perfusable Heart Plasters "in" Advanced Science, a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Research for the study was jointly conducted by Professor Dvir, Dr. Assaf Shapira of the Faculty of Life Sciences of the TAU, and Nadav Moor, a doctoral student in the laboratory In the study, the team worked with two models: one made of human tissue and one of rat tissue.

In the press conference, Professor Dvir emphasized that the technology "will not be available in clinics or hospitals tomorrow we are still at a very early stage Technology. "But in about a decade, when As 3D printing technology evolves, hospitals and clinics may have these printers in the field.

  Graph via TAU

Graph via TAU [19659006] Professor Dvir explained that the heart, which is currently the size of a hare, must undergo maturation in bioreactors – a system that supports a biologically active environment – to keep the cells alive and develop them for lifelong growth. Heart as he teaches them to organize and interact with each other and achieve pumping power.

He currently said, "Cells are able to contract, but not pump."

The printing process takes between 3 and 4 years The maturation process lasts about a month, after which the scientists start with small animals such as rabbits and rats.

They hope that this will be the case in a year or two.

Dr. Shapira tells NoCamels that the scientists are going to provide the hearts of these animals with a 3D print from their own tissues. After that, they will perform transplants and begin clinical trials.

The potential is great. According to Professor Dvir, the use of "native" patient-specific materials is critical to the successful development of tissues and organs.

"The biocompatibility of engineering materials is critical to avoiding the risk of rejection of the implant, which jeopardizes the success of such treatments," he said. "Ideally, the biomaterial should have the same biochemical, mechanical, and topographical characteristics of the patient's tissue. We can provide a simple approach to 3D printing of thick, vascularized, and perfusable heart tissue that is fully consistent with the patient's immunological, cellular, biochemical, and anatomical properties. "

However, there are also significant hurdles. First, the costs. Professor Dvir says the printing process for the heart has cost "a few thousand shekels" in a lab environment, but if the technology is commercialized in the future, it will probably be expensive.

Scientists need to print a human sized heart and that could pose a challenge. "How do you print all the cells and blood vessels for a heart?" Asked Professor Dvir regarding the resolution limitations of 3D printers.

"We need to take into account that 3D printing technology is also evolving," he said

"Perhaps there will be organdprinters in the best hospitals in the world in ten years, and these procedures will be routinely done," he said.


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