In a groundbreaking achievement, researchers from Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University have successfully 3D printed a functional heart ventricle. This remarkable feat is made possible through the utilization of a unique fiber-infused gel ink, known as Fiber-Infused Gel (FIG) ink, which mirrors the rhythmic beating of a human heart. The FIG ink’s distinctive qualities allow it to maintain a 3D structure without the need for additional support materials or scaffolds, revolutionizing the field of regenerative therapeutics.
At the core of this revolutionary process is FIG ink, which empowers the 3D printing of heart muscle cells into ventricle-shaped structures. FIG ink’s game-changing attribute is its ability to retain its 3D form without reliance on supplementary materials. The innovative method involves a novel rotary jet spinning technique, creating microfibers resembling cotton candy. These microfibers are then incorporated into a hydrogel ink. Precise control of the printing direction enables the alignment of cardiomyocytes, the cells responsible for heart muscle contractions, within the 3D-printed structure.
The most astonishing outcome of this research is the synchronized contraction of the 3D-printed heart ventricle. Through electrical stimulation, these artificial ventricles demonstrate a coordinated wave of contractions closely resembling the natural pumping action of human heart ventricles. This achievement opens the door to creating heart valves, dual-chambered miniature hearts, and more. The potential applications in the field of regenerative therapeutics are profound, moving us closer to the replication of complex organ structures and functions. The implications of this research extend far beyond heart ventricles, offering significant advancements in regenerative medicine, organ transplantation, and clinical testing. By eliminating the need for support materials, this groundbreaking technique brings us closer to addressing the shortage of donor organs and potentially saving countless lives.
The journey to 3D print a beating heart ventricle showcases the boundless potential of medical technology. Harvard’s SEAS and the Wyss Institute lead the way in pioneering research that could reshape the landscape of healthcare.
September 26, 2023. Researchers 3D Print Beating Heart Ventricle. Suji Choi, Keel Yong Lee,Sean L. Kim,Luke A. MacQueen,Huibin Chang, John F. Zimmerman,Qianru Jin,Michael M. Peters,Herdeline Ann M. Ardoña,Xujie Liu,Ann-Caroline Heiler,Rudy Gabardi,Collin Richardson,William T. Pu,Andreas R. Bausch.Kevin Kit Parker. Fiber-infused gel scaffolds guide cardiomyocyte alignment in 3D-printed ventricles.