This 3D-printed patch repairs a damaged heart tissue after a heart attack


Scientists from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Alabama-Birmingham have successfully created a 3D-bioprinted cell patch that helps repair a damaged heart tissue following a heart attack. The discovery is a boon for patients who suffer tissue damage following a heart attack. A heart attack is one of the major cause of death worldwide. according to American heart association, heart disease is the primary cause of death in U.S killing 3,60,000 people annually. Repairing a damaged heart tissue with patching is very complicated as it is an enormous task to match the complex structures of a real heart tissue.

This 3D-printed patch repairs a damaged heart tissue after a heart attack

What happens during a heart attack?

During a heart attack, a blood clot blocks the flow of blood to the heart muscle. The cells of the heart muscle die due to lack of oxygen. As a result, the person experiences symptoms like pain in the chest abnormal heart beat and anxiety. Our body does not have the mechanism to repair the damaged cells of the heart muscle.Therefore scar tissue is formed in the damaged area of the heart. Even after treating the patient with stents and bypass surgery the scar tissue remains as such and leaves the person at risk for future heart failure.

How the scientists created a 3-D printed patch?


-The team used a laser 3D- printing technologies to incorporate stem cells that are obtained from adult human heart cells onto a matrix
-The matrix is developed around a 3D-scan of native proteins of heart tissue
-The cells began to grow and beat synchronously in a dish in the lab
Researchers then tested the functionality of cell patch by incorporating in a mouse after a simulated heart attack. There was a significant increase in functionality in the mouse heart just after four weeks. Eventually the patch got absorbed in to the heart and thereby eliminated the necessity to perform any surgery.

Researchers believe that this discovery is a major step and can be used to repair of damaged heart tissue in larger animals and also humans with in the next several years. So future treatment of heart atack would involve implanting a 3D-printed tissue and wait for restoration of the functional capacity of the heart.



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