The world’s first bioprinted human heart

On Monday, a team of researchers at Tel Aviv University produced the world’s first bioprinted human heart using a patient’s own cells and biomaterials.

“This is the first time anyone anywhere has successfully engineered and printed an entire heart replete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers,” said Professor Tal Dvir, the lead researcher of the study. Dvir worked with doctoral student Nadav Moor, and their research was published in Advanced Science.

For patients with end-stage heart failure, heart transplantation is often the only treatment available. Thousands of people are on the waiting list, and twenty people die every day from the lack of available organs in the United States alone.

There are still challenges to expanding the impact of this research. CELLINK is changing that.

Many bioprinters on the market are limited in resolution and cannot achieve the complex vasculature critical to organ function.

To enhance this effort, CELLINK partnered with Nanoscribe to develop a bioprinter capable of printing complex microfluidic structures. The Quantum X bio uses 2-photon polymerization. This techniques allows users to print into the photoresist which enables complex constructs to be printed without additional supports.

In addition, CELLINK’s engineers conduct research in-house to develop and validate bioinks and bioprinters. Some of the BITE team’s latest work involves bioprinting cardiac tissue models.

CELLINK’s BITE team produced cardiac tissue models using hiPSC-derived cardiomyocyte aggregates and LAMININK 521. These models can be used to study cardiomyocyte maturation, drug screening, drug targets and cardiac regeneration. The cardiomyocyte aggregates demonstrated contraction after one week of culture in the 3D bioprinted construct — indicating a supportive environment for cell activity and metabolism. In time, the aggregates are expected to mature in cardiac phenotype and synchronize in contraction.

“We are excited to empower our partners with this cutting-edge technology to advance their research in 3D bioprinting,” said Erik Gatenholm, co-founder of CELLINK and CEO of CELLINK’s mother company, BICO.

Watch CELLINK's bioprinted cardiac tissue: