Tel Aviv University researchers successfully printed the world's first 3D heart using their own cells and biological material to "fully fulfill the patient's immunological, cellular, biochemical and anatomical characteristics".
So far researchers Only simple tissues that lack blood vessels can only be printed with 3D printing.
"This heart is made up of human cells and patient-specific biological materials, and in our process, these materials serve as bio-compounds, sugars, and proteins that can be used for the 3D printing of complex tissue models," said the lead researcher Tal Dvir in a statement. "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 of our approach to the development of personalized tissue and organ replacement in the future."
In describing their work in Advanced Science, the research team began by taking biopsies of adipose tissue from abdominal structures known as omentum in humans and pigs. The cellular material of the tissue was separated from those that did not exist, and was reprogrammed into pluripotent stem cells, "master cells" that are capable of producing cells from all three body layers, with the potential to have cells or tissues in the body to produce. The team assembled the extracellular matrix – consisting of collagen and glycoproteins – into a hydrogel ink. The cells were mixed with the hydrogel and then differentiated into cardiac or endothelial cells (those lining the inner surface of blood and lymphatics) to produce patient-specific, immunocompatible heart plasters with blood vessels and ultimately an entire biotechnologically engineered heart from "native" patient-specific ones Materials.
Although the team is promising, it quickly reminds us that their hearts are not yet ready for human transplantation.
"At this stage, our 3D heart is small, the size of a rabbit heart," said Dvir. "But larger human hearts require the same technology."
For beginners, creating a human heart would take much longer and require billions of cells – not just millions. Moreover, hearts as big as cherries do not necessarily behave like hearts, but have to be further developed and "trained" by researchers so that they are like human hearts and pumping power. Currently the cells can contract but do not work together.
Nonetheless, development is a huge step forward in the advancement of organ transplantation. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and women in the US, with heart transplants being the only treatment option for end-stage heart failure patients. Lack of donors not only requires the development of new strategies, but the creation of hearts that match the unique biological composition of a patient could prevent the risk of rejection.
"The biocompatibility of engineering materials is critical to eliminating the risk of implant rejection, jeopardizing the success of such treatments," said Dvir. "Ideally, the biomaterial should possess the same biochemical, mechanical, and topographical characteristics of the patient's own tissue." Here we can provide a simple approach to 3D printed thick, vascularized, and perfusable heart tissues that are fully anatomical, consistent with the immunological, cellular, biochemical, and biological tissues Characteristics of the patient. "
After" training "the heart for efficient pumping, the team hopes to be able to transplant it into animals for further testing.