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Scientists Can Use 3D Printing to Repair Damaged Hearts: Successful Functional Heart Piece Printed

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Article Summary
  • Scientists 3D print a functional heart piece.
  • The printed heart piece can be used to repair damaged hearts.
  • Fully 3D-printed hearts are not yet a thing.

Scientists have long been trying to use 3D printing in a medical sense to help solve certain complicated problems that require unique solutions. Finally, a 3D printed functional heart piece has been created which could help repair damaged hearts.

To make things clear, the 3D printing used in the medical field usually utilizes silicone or even the cells of the patient themselves in order to create fully functional parts. Despite the research long-existing, there haven’t been many successful results until later on.

3D printing has gained quite a lot of popularity over the recent years due to printers coming out at much more affordable prices. Due to budget 3D printers, people can pick them up as a hobby and print out different products, toys, tools, or parts to go with whatever other item they wish.

Scientists 3D Printed a Fully Functional Heart Part

When it comes to the scientific field, researchers were able to bio print certain organic products like meat and now, scientists are building a functional heart piece.

Now, a team of researchers from the Wyss Institute, Harvard, has been able to develop a new technique in order to 3D print long cardiac macrofilaments to create “muscle-like filaments which contract.” This new method allows the printed part to mimic the natural complex alignment of a heart.

Bioprinting has already existed for quite a while but its previous technologies have still struggled when it comes to being able to build parts that replicate actual muscle function. Different functions require different motions and this is something that scientists have been trying to accomplish with 3D printing.

3D printing using bio parts is a great way to replicate body parts that move and contract. Scientists have found a way to incorporate the movement through printing using bio parts like the cells of the client themselves along with other materials.

Will 3D Printed Full Hearts be a Thing?

The complicated part about 3D printing heart parts doesn’t have much to do with just the shape but how they move and contract. Due to the complicated functions of the heart, 3D printed parts have to keep up in order for them to be utilized.

The new system is a refinement of a previously existing system called SWIFT (Sacrificial Writing in Functional Tissue) bioprinting technology. To clarify, scientists are not yet capable of printing a fully functional organic heart itself, but rather parts of the heart that could support its process.

It might be a long way before scientists finally come up with a fully functional heart. This is because a heart’s rhythm is still complex for the current technologies to adapt.

For scientists to successfully come up with a fully functional heart, there still needs to be additional research and experimentation in order to create a 3D-printed heart that is both flexible and sturdy enough to carry out the different human heart functions.


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