Source: Science and Technology Daily
Researchers at the University of Minnesota report in the current issue of Circulation research that they have 3D printed a functioning centimeter scale human heart muscle pump in the laboratory using human cells.The researchers say the system is important for heart disease research and their work is a key step toward creating a large chamber model of the human heart.
The use of 3D bio-printing technology to manufacture human organs and tissues is a research hotspot at present.Previously, researchers at the University of Minnesota tried to print models of cardiac muscle pumps using human induced pluripotent stem cells.They reprogrammed the pluripotent stem cells into cardiomyocytes, then printed them in three-dimensional structures using a specialized 3D printer.They haven’t been able to create a functioning model of a cardiac muscle pump because they can’t reach the critical cell density that allows the cardiomyocytes to really function.
This time, the researchers tried a new approach.They optimized a dedicated bio-ink made from extracellular matrix proteins to promote human INDUCED pluripotent stem cell proliferation and cardiomyocyte differentiation. Then they mixed the bio-ink with human INDUCED pluripotent stem cells and used a specialized 3D printer to print the porous structure of a heart-like chamber.Stem cells first expand in this structure, increasing cell density, and then differentiate into cardiomyocytes in situ.Using this method, the researchers achieved their goal of increasing the density of heart muscle cells in less than a month, enabling the model to function normally and beat like a human heart.
The model is about 1.5 centimeters long and was specially designed by the researchers.Such a scale is suitable for mouse models and can be placed in the abdominal cavity of mice for relevant studies.
The researchers point out that a functioning model system of cardiac muscle pumps is important for heart disease research and that their results could have a transformative impact on heart research.The new model will be an invaluable tool for studying heart function, tracking changes in heart structure at the cellular and molecular levels, and studying the effects of heart drugs and therapies.
The idea behind 3D bio-printing is to save the lives of millions of people who need replacement organs.To avoid rejection by the host and the need for replacement, scientists are printing artificial organs using human cells, especially the patient’s own cells.Print out the heart size, this is apply to mouse model, may also need to for a long time, a consistent with the size of the human heart, the same function, and can eliminate rejection problem of 3 d printing can really used for patients with heart, we can say, 3 d biological printing technology, truly filled the blank in the field of organ transplantation.