Researchers at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute have developed a method to 3D print a functional component of the human heart, Engadget reported.
The technique allowed the researchers to create long functional cardiac macrofilaments that grow into muscle-like filaments that can contract.
The Wyss Institute has been using bioprinting for some time, and the new technique is a refined version of its Sacrificial Writing in Functional Tissue (SWIFT) technology.
The new methodology included creating a platform of just over 1,000 wells, each with two microscopic columns.
After that, the team fills each well with human-induced pluripotent stem cells – or immature cells capable of evolving into various forms – protein collagen and connective tissue cells.
A dense tissue then forms, and the team lifts the constituent of the organ from the microscopic pillars, and it is then used as bio-printing ink.
3D printed heart tissue constructs have high cell densities typical of normal heart tissue.
The project’s lead author, Jennifer Lewis, explained the benefits of the new technology.
“Being able to effectively mimic the alignment of the heart’s contractile system throughout its hierarchy, from single cells to thicker heart tissue composed of multiple layers, is critical to generating functional heart tissue for replacement therapy,” said she declared. said.
Although this is an important development, there is still a lot of work to do before researchers can create a fully functional 3D printed heart.