Scientists have created the first 3D printed heart from human tissue

Hospitals around the world could have similar organ printers in as little as 10 years from now

World's first 3D Printed Heart. Photo: EPA / Ynet

Three-dimensional printers can produce everything from homes to guns. And now, thanks to the work of Dr. Tal Dvir and his research team, hearts can be added to the list.

A team of scientists based out of Tel Aviv University claim to have produced the first 3D printed “heart replete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles, and chambers.” Roughly the size of a rabbit’s heart, the printed organ uses human tissue and vessels in its construction.

Using human cells to print a heart from scratch is only the first hurdle scientists face. Now they have to make it work – i.e. pump blood. The team says they’ve been able to contract the cells, but making the organ circulate blood is an entirely different challenge.

Therefore, while the heart represents a huge medical breakthrough, we’re still decades removed from human transplants, according to researchers. Dr. Dvir says “the finest hospitals around the world” may have patient-ready organ printers in as little as 10 years, however, they’ll most likely “start with simpler organs than hearts.”

Source: Ynet