Researchers from the Heart Research Institute (HRI) have developed a 3D bioprinter, the first of its kind in Australia, that could replace a patient’s damaged cells after a heart attack.
“When patients come into the clinic, they would provide us with their cells from their skin,” HRI scientist Dr Carmine Gentile explained. “Those cells can generate stem cells and then heart cells.” The resulting patch of beating cardiac cells can be stuck directly to a damaged organ following an attack. In order to be sure the patch is the right size and shape, each patient’s heart is first scanned to map the damage.
According to Gentile, “the cells behave[d] like a real heart. This is a striking finding that we have been able to identify in our lab.”
Initially a method used to produce various tools and equipment, 3D printing has been quickly adapted to medicine. All bioprinters are still experimental, however, since their output has not yet been rigorously tested by medical experts.
By Robert Sanders | Futurism