Scientists Have Successfully 3D Printed A Heart From Human Cells

Science has achieved some pretty nifty things over the years. Now? Oh, they have just casually 3D printed a heart from human cells – as you do. This could be the start of something incredible.

Scientists Have Successfully 3D Printed A Heart From Human Cells

Breaking The Mould

Many people have worked on printing hearts over the years, and some have been successful. However, they have all been lacking blood vessels – until now. A team of researchers working at Tel Aviv University have been able to create the world’s first 3D printed heart that completely matches the anatomical and biochemical properties of their patient.

Programming The Cells

The team took cells from the fatty tissues in a patient’s abdominals and separated out all the materials. Sadly, they needed a way to make sure the cells could be turned into a heart. They needed to reprogramme them to believe they were stem cells instead meaning they could be used to make anything within the human body. From there, the cells were transformed into a gel that could act as the ink in the 3D printer before it was set to work creating something that was about to go down in scientific and medical history.

Scientists Have Successfully 3D Printed A Heart From Human Cells

The Final Product

The outcome? The researchers were left looking at a functional heart. That’s right; they had pulled off what once seemed like an impossible task. Unfortunately, the heart is only the size of a rabbit’s meaning there is still a long way to go, but this is an incredible place to start. It appears as though the only way from here is up.

Looking To The Future

The researchers admit that a human heart would need billions of cells and a lot more work to create than their first final product. Plus, the cells would have to be trained on how to behave like a heart. The cells in our heart are myogenic meaning they contract and beat on their own. This is something the new cells would need to learn before they could be used on a grand scale.

It looks as though waiting on a transplant list might one day be a thing of the past. Not only could hearts be tailor-made to each patient, but this incredible breakthrough could pave the way for even more 3D printed organs in the future, too. Who knows what science has in store?