Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageMajor advance with bioprinting brings 3D-printed hearts closer

By Tim Sandle     Aug 9, 2019 in Science
A new 3D bioprinting method has been developed by scientists. The technique pushes the field of tissue engineering closer to being able to 3D print a full-sized, functioning adult human heart.
The new method paves the way for any medical technologist to produce 3D bioprint tissue scaffolds from collagen (which is the major structural protein in the human body; making 25 to 35 percent of the whole-body protein content). The discovery suggests that one day, medical scientists could overcome the shortages of organs — like the heart — for transplant by being able to 3D print human body organs on demand. This method comes from College of Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University.
The method is called Freeform Reversible Embedding of Suspended Hydrogels (FRESH) and it has enabled researchers to create structures of improved resolution and fidelity using soft and living materials.
Such progress is considered to be of particular benefit when seeking to produce working hearts. Organs like the heart are created from specialized cells held together via a biological scaffold termed the extracellular matrix. This network gives the necessary structure to the organ and facilitates the biochemical signals needed by cells need to carry out their normal function.
Traditional biofabrication methods have not been successful at creating a suitable. This has been overcome, lead researcher Adam Feinberg, explains: "By using MRI data of a human heart, we were able to accurately reproduce patient-specific anatomical structure and 3D bioprint collagen and human heart cells."
The FRESH 3D bioprinting method enables medics to take collagen and to deposit it layer-by-layer within a support bath of gel. This gives the collagen the opportunity to solidify in place before it is removed from the support bath, and this provides the desired properties.
Other advances continue to be made with bioprinting. Scientists, for example, have managed to induce human cartilage cells to live and grow in an animal model, via 3D bioprinting technology. The output of this study is shifting the development closer to a aiding patients by producing new body parts.
The research has been published in the journal Science. The paper is titled "3D bioprinting of collagen to rebuild components of the human heart."
More about hydrogel, 3D printing, bioprinting
Latest News
Top News