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Tuesday, 16 April 2019

A First Heart Printed In 3D By Israeli Scientists

For the first time, scientists have managed to create a heart with a 3D printer. This heart, created from human fibers, was presented by researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel.

It is not yet functional and it will still take many advances before a first transplant. But researchers hope to have developed a technology that will replace organ donation.

For the moment, this artificial heart is the size of a cherry or that of a rabbit's heart, and it does not beat. But it is a whole heart with its blood vessels and the researchers who printed it see a great breakthrough in the field of organ transplants.

Because this heart, printed in 3D, was produced from human cells. What has served as "ink" for printing, to draw a parallel with a conventional process, is, therefore, a unique mixture specific to each patient. This technology reduces the risk of infection and rejection during a transplant.

Now scientists must learn to print a human-sized heart and make it work independently. "  The cells must constitute a pumping capacity; now they can contract, but they have to work together,  "says Professor Tal Dvir of Tel Aviv University.

At first, the grafts of this artificial organ will be done on animals. It will take several more years before any clinical trials on humans. But cardiovascular disease being the leading cause of death in developed countries, if the next challenges are met, this discovery will be a major medical advance.

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