3D-Printed Patch Can Help Mend A 'Broken' Heart

News ID: 1381374 Service: Science
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TEHRAN (Tasnim) - A revolutionary 3D-bioprinted patch has been created that can help heal scarred heart tissue after a heart attack. The discovery is a major step forward in treating patients with tissue damage after a heart attack.

The research, conducted by scientists at the University of Minnesota, is published in Circulation Research, a journal published by the American Heart Association.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the US killing more than 360,000 people a year. During a heart attack, a person loses blood flow to the heart muscle and that causes cells to die. Our bodies can't replace those heart muscle cells so the body forms scar tissue in that area of the heart, which puts the person at risk for compromised heart function and future heart failure.

In this study, researchers used laser-based 3D-bioprinting techniques to incorporate stem cells derived from adult human heart cells on a matrix that began to grow and beat synchronously in a dish in the lab.

When the cell patch was placed on a mouse following a simulated heart attack, the researchers saw significant increase in functional capacity after just four weeks. Since the patch was made from cells and structural proteins native to the heart, it became part of the heart and absorbed into the body, requiring no further surgeries.

"This is a significant step forward in treating the No. 1 cause of death in the US," said Brenda Ogle, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Minnesota. "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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