News on Wellness

3D Heart Could Become a Reality in Future

3D Heart

Transplantation of heart has seen a new technology in which the scientists are trying to build a 3-D human heart using a person’s own cells. Of course, according to the scientists it is a very ambitious project. Completion could take over a decade as it is very complex, based on trial and error before the printed 3-D heart could be transplanted into a live human being. However, the scientists feel that it is possible because this technology has been used to print human ear, valves and even splints.

3D Heart

In fact, in the University of Louisville, a team of researchers have successfully printed small veins and heart valves using human cells. Dr Stuart Williams is the cell biologist who is leading this project in the University. He informed that the team has successfully built blood vessels for mice and also a few other small animals.

He was enthusiastic about being able to build a complete ‘bioficial heart’ by printing out smaller parts and assembling them in less than 5 years. However, the challenge is to get the cells to work together. Positive side is that this bioficial (biological + artificial) heart will completely eliminate organ rejection problem most patients face while going for donor organs. It will also eliminate the use of anti-rejection drugs. Patient’s fat cells will be taken to build the cells but they are still to find solution to store tissues that are alive after printing it out till transplantation.

Dr Williams, who is also the project head at Cardiovascular Innovation Institute, added that if everything goes as per plan they will be able to test it on humans in less than 10 years. The plan is to try it on patients who have failing hearts and cannot accommodate donor or artificial heart. It could be even children who have very small chest capacity to accommodate artificial heart.

According to Dr Williams, hospitals in Louisville have the highest rate of artificial heart achievements and they have hope that this would be a success too.


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