Functioning Heart Tissue 3D Printed

Researchers at the Wake Forest School of Medicine have successfully bioprinted functioning heart tissue.
Professor Anthony Atala and his team used a specially developed bioink created from material found in the human body naturally.
They then used rat heart muscles, which were suspended in the bioink. From that, they were able to print functioning heart tissue.


Scientists Bioprint Functional 3D Heart Tissue

One exciting development has come out of the Wake Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina. Researchers in the medical school have developed a way of ‘printing’ heart tissue using a technique that is gaining significant interest in the field, namely bio-printing……

In this study, award winning researcher Prof Anthony Atala and his group developed a bioink based on materials found in the human body. Rat cardiomyocytes (heart muscle cells) were suspended in the bioink and printed into precise structures.

After bioprinting, the cardiomyocytes aligned into an organised structure that showed significant similarity to human heart tissue. However, when the researchers probed further, they found that the bioprinted structure did more than just look like heart tissue. It also behaved like heart tissue.

The researchers found that their bioprinted heart tissues were able to contract and beat like a normal heart. When analysed further, they also found that the bioprinted tissues had a measureable ‘heart rate’ that was strikingly similar to the resting heart rate of a healthy human (around 80 beats per minute).

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