New 3D-bioprinted patch developed to repair scarred heart tissue

Engineering

3D printing technology has been used to create a new patch that could be used to repair heart tissue after a cardiac arrest.

University of Minnesota researchers have utilised laser-based 3D-bioprinting techniques to incorporate stem cells derived from adult human heart cells into a matrix that can grow and beat synchronously.

“A 3D-bioprinted patch has been created that can help heal scarred heart tissue after a heart attack.“

When implanted into a mouse after a heart attack, the patch was associated with a significant increase in functional capacity after just four weeks. Because the patch was made from cells and structural proteins native to the heart, it was absorbed into the body without any need for further surgery.

The patch is created using a digital 3D scan of the structural proteins of native heart tissue, with the printing process achieving the precise one micron resolution needed to mimic structures of native heart tissue.

Brenda Ogle, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Minnesota, said: "We feel that we could scale this up to repair hearts of larger animals and possibly even humans within the next several years."

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