Researchers from the University of Minnesota 3D print a heart pump
Category: #healthcare  By Mateen Dalal  Date: 2020-07-17
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Researchers from the University of Minnesota 3D print a heart pump

A group of researchers from the University of Minnesota have recently conducted a new groundbreaking study where they 3D printed a fully operational centimeter-scale human heart pump, a discovery that could augment the study of heart disease, which is currently a prominent cause of death in the US with over 600,000 deaths a year.

Previously, researchers had tried to develop 3D printed heart muscle cells or cardiomyocytes that were developed from pluripotent human stem cells. For the record, pluripotent stem cells are commonly known as the cells that have the potential to develop into a random cell type in the body. 

Researchers reprogramed these stem cells according to heart muscle cells and later utilized the specialized 3D printer to create a three-dimensional structure dubbed extracellular matrix. However, developers were not able to reach the critical cell density necessary for the heart muscle cells to effectively function.

But in the new study, researchers from the University of Minnesota flipped the entire process and to everyone’s surprise, it worked. As of now, the study can be found on the cover of the American Heart Association’s publication, Circulation Research.

Speaking on the development, Brenda Ogle, Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Minnesota and the lead researcher of the study, said that at the beginning, the group went down the traditional path of 3D printing cardiomyocytes, which later failed. With the help of the team’s expertise in 3D printing and stem cell research, the group managed to come up with a new approach. 

Apparently, researchers optimized the specialized ink developed from extracellular matrix proteins and then combined it with human stem cells that is later used to 3D print the chambered device, added Ogle. 

As a result of this experiment, the team figured out that they could attain the target of high cell density under the span of a month, allowing the cells to beat like a human heart.

Source Credit: https://twin-cities.umn.edu/news-events/research-brief-researchers-3d-print-working-heart-pump-real-human-cells

About Author

Mateen Dalal    

Mateen Dalal

Despite working as a professional testing engineer, Mateen Dalal always held a liking for content creation. Following his passion, he now pens down articles for itresearchbrief.com and a couple of similar portals. Mateen is a qualified electronics and telecommunicat...

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