A team of Israeli researchers has "printed" the world's first 3-D vascularized, manufactured heart in the world. On Monday, a team of researchers from Tel Aviv University unveiled the heart made from the patient's own cells and biological material. So far, scientists have only successfully printed simple tissues without blood vessels.
"It's the first time anyone has successfully developed and printed a whole heart of cells, blood vessels, ventricles, and ventricles," said Prof. Tal Dvir of the TAU School of Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology, Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Center for Nanosciences and Nanotechnology and the Sagol Center for Regenerative Biotechnology, the lead investigator of the study. He collaborated with Prof. Assaf Shapira of the Faculty of Life Sciences of TAU and Nadav Moor, a doctoral student. Her research was published in Advanced Science.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and women in the United States. In Israel, it is the second most common cause of death (after cancer). According to the Ministry of Health, in 2013, heart disease accounted for approximately 16% of the total number of deaths in Israel. Heart transplants are often the only treatment available to patients with end-stage heart failure. The waiting list for patients in the US can be up to six months or more. In Israel and the US many patients are on the waiting list and hope for a chance of survival. "This heart is made up of human cells and patient-specific biological materials, and in our process these materials serve as biotin inks, sugars and proteins that can be used to 3D print complex tissue models," explains 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 of our approach to the development of personalized tissue and organ replacement in the future "he said. At this time, the 3-D heart produced at the TAU is rated for a rabbit, but the professors said that with the same technology, larger human hearts could be produced. For the research, a biopsy of adipose tissue was taken from the patients after release. The cellular and a-cellular materials of the tissue were then separated. The cells were reprogrammed into pluripotent stem cells, which could then be 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 printing ink. The differentiated cells were then mixed with biofarbenes and used for 3D printing of patient-specific, immunocompatible heart patches with blood vessels and then a whole heart. According to Dvir, the use of "native" patient-specific materials is critical to the successful development of tissues and organs. The next step, they said, is to teach the hearts to behave like human hearts. First they will transplant them into animals and finally into humans. The hope is that "within 10 years, there will be organdprints in the best hospitals in the world and these procedures will be routinely done," Dvir said.