“The cells need to form a pumping ability; they can currently contract, but we need them to work together,” lead scientist Tal Dvir told Haaretz.
“This is the first time anyone anywhere has successfully engineered and printed an entire heart complete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers,” Dvir said.
To print the heart, the scientists created a “personalized hydrogel” to form “bioinks,” according to a paper published today in the journal Advanced Science.
The hydrogel originated from fatty tissues extracted from human test subjects.
It’s not the first time 3D printing technology was used to print organs. For instance, a team of researchers at ETH Zurich created a 3D printed artificial heart back in 2017, but rather than using human tissue, those researchers used a flexible material.