3D printed heart cells show success in reducing heart failure
3D printers are continuing to take over the medical field. Using a 3D printer, researchers were able to grow heart tissues onto a 1-micron-resolution scaffold using a mix of human cells.
The cells were able to organize on the scaffold to create synchronously beating engineered heart tissue. Researchers at the University of Alabama and University of Minnesota put these cells onto a mouse heart that recently suffered a heart attack, and the cells improved heart function and lowered the number of dead heart tissues, according to a press release.
Since the heart cannot create new muscle tissues after a heart attack, this technique is a breakthrough for reducing heart failure after a heart attack.
The research team used multiphoton 3D printing and crosslinked extracellular proteins dissolved in a photoreactive gelatin. Photopolymerized extracellular protein scaffold remained after the uncrosslinked gelatin was washed away and an extracellular matrix with hollows where cells used to be was created.
The scaffold was seeded with 50,000 cardiomyocytes, smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells from human-induced pluripotent stem cells. The cardiac muscle patch started beating within one day of its seeding and significantly improved throughout the week.
The cells also had a smooth wave of an electrical signal and contributed to the healthy electrical and mechanical function of the cells.
Attaching these new cells to a mouse heart that suffered a heart attack showed improvement in cardiac function, blood vessel density and cell proliferation while also reducing infarct size and programmed cell death.