Volume printing technology is not only used for entertainment or the creation of spare parts for various mechanisms. For the first time, American biologists managed to create artificial fragments of the human heart, capable of functioning like a living original.
Researchers at Carnegie University - Mellon published an article on an impressive achievement in the field of medicine - they managed to print some of the components of the human heart that can perform the function of living tissue. Special cells that form all kinds of organs in the human body normally "stick together" with the so-called extracellular matrix. It is a “network” of collagen that connects cells together and provides the transmission of biochemical signals necessary for the functioning of organs.
According to one of the co-authors of the research work, Andrew Hudson, in laboratory synthesis, collagen is a liquid, so a special hydrogel was used for printing, which helped to temporarily preserve the structure of printed blood vessels, functioning heart valves and ventricles. After printing, the gel can be easily removed from the structure, heating it to room temperature, while the finished collagen structure will remain unharmed.
There is no talk about the appearance of an artificial heart “in the collection” yet, but in the future, the technology of biological 3D printing can solve the problem of a deficit of donor organs in a few years.