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Fiber-infused ink enables 3D-printed artificial-heart muscles to beat

Jul. 31, 2023.
1 min. read Interactions

Future plan: fabricate implantable tissues that can heal or replace faulty or diseased heart structure

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Amara Angelica

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Amara Angelica is Senior Editor, Mindplex

3D-printed heart muscle beating through fiber-infused ink (credit: Harvard John A. Paulson) School of Engineering and Applied Sciences)

Scientists from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have invented artificial heart tissue that beats in coordination, like a human heart.

In a paper published in Nature Materials, the researchers report they have developed a new hydrogel ink infused with gelatin fibers and applied with “rotary jet-spinning.” This method allows muscle cells (printed in the shape of a ventricle) to align and beat in coordination, as in a human heart chamber.

Defeating heart disease with new implantable tissues

Initially, the 3D-printed cardiac tissues could help evaluate which treatments might work best in individual patients. But the future plan is to fabricate actual implantable tissues that can heal or replace faulty or diseased structures inside a patient’s heart, says Suji Choi, research associate at SEAS and first author on the paper.

Rotary Jet-Spinning (RJS) works like a cotton candy machine (credit: Harvard John A. Paulson School Of Engineering And Applied Sciences)

Citation: Choi, S., Lee, K. Y., Kim, S. L., MacQueen, L. A., Chang, H., Zimmerman, J. F., Jin, Q., Peters, M. M., Ardoña, H. A., Liu, X., Heiler, A., Gabardi, R., Richardson, C., Pu, W. T., Bausch, A. R., & Parker, K. K. (2023). Fibre-infused gel scaffolds guide cardiomyocyte alignment in 3D-printed ventricles. Nature Materials, 22(8), 1039-1046. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41563-023-01611-3

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One thought on “Fiber-infused ink enables 3D-printed artificial-heart muscles to beat

  1. This groundbreaking research from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences represents a major stride towards combating heart disease. The invention of artificial heart tissue, capable of coordinated beating like a human heart, holds immense potential for personalized treatments and even implantable tissue replacements. A remarkable feat with promising implications for the future of cardiac care.
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