November 2019 − News
For the first time, a research team from the University of Tel Aviv, led by biotechnologist Tal Dvir, has succeeded in manufacturing a heart using a 3D printer – complete with tissue, blood vessels and chambers.
The special feature: the printer ink is made from real adipose tissue and cells, which are then processed to hydrogels. The bio-ink has the advantage that the body can accept it as autologous tissue, which could reduce the risk of transplant rejection. In a subsequent step, the team will teach the heart to pump in a coordinated fashion, which necessitates the development and printing of even smaller blood vessels. The scientists estimate that it will take another ten to 15 years until the heart will be ready for organ donation.
Meanwhile, the design studio “Nervous System”, with scientists Jordan Miller of Rice University and Kelly Stevens of the University of Washington®, is working towards the development of 3D networks of blood vessels for printed organs. They constructed networks of vessels in the shape of a lung that could transport blood or air. This work promptly made the front cover of the May 2019 issue of “Science®” Magazine.
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