In what could easily be confused for a story of science fiction, a team of scientists have just revealed that they've printed the world's first 3D heart using “ink” made of human tissue.
The major breakthrough occurred at Tel Aviv University, in what's been described as the first time "anyone anywhere has successfully engineered and printed an entire heart replete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles, and chambers."
Previously, scientists had only successfully printed simple tissues without blood vessels, while this heart had been personalized by using a patient’s own cells and biological material.
With that said, while the heart is currently too small for a human as it's more appropriately sized for a rabbit, the process used to create it shows a potential for one day being able to 3D print patches and maybe full transplants. Furthermore, because the heart is made from the patient's own cells, there is a reduced chance that the transplant would fail.
“Maybe, in ten years, there will be organ printers in the finest hospitals around the world, and these procedures will be conducted routinely,” said Prof. Tal Dvir of TAU, as the new developments look to battle heart disease which is the leading cause of death around the world.