• Experts at Massachusetts Institute of Technology said they made a replica heart
  • Device can be used to test implants for patients with heart disease

Scientists are making significant progress towards creating 3D printed human hearts that could be used for valve replacement surgeries. The process involves 3D printing a replica of a patient’s heart using a special material that mimics the properties of human tissue.

The team of researchers, led by Dr. Stephen Westaby at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, has already successfully created a prototype 3D printed heart valve that was implanted in a sheep. The valve was designed to be flexible and to fit precisely into the sheep’s heart.

According to Dr. Westaby, “3D printing technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we approach heart valve replacement surgeries. By creating customized, 3D printed valves, we can ensure a perfect fit and reduce the risk of complications.”

The team is now working on creating 3D printed hearts that can be used for more complex surgeries, such as valve replacements in human patients. The ultimate goal is to develop a process that allows for the creation of entire 3D printed hearts that can be used for transplants.

While the technology is still in the early stages of development, the potential benefits are significant. 3D printing could allow for the creation of customized, biocompatible hearts that are less likely to be rejected by the patient’s immune system.

According to Dr. Westaby, “The potential for 3D printed hearts is enormous. It could fundamentally change the way we approach heart surgeries and significantly improve patient outcomes.”

The development of 3D printed human hearts is still several years away, as the technology needs to be further refined and tested. However, the progress made so far is a significant step towards the ultimate goal of creating fully functional, 3D printed human organs.

Via The Impactlab