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April 15 (UPI) -- Researchers at Tel Aviv University have managed to 3D print a heart using a patient's cells and biological materials -- a first.
Scientists have previously built synthetic hearts and bio-engineered tissues using a patient's cells. But the latest feat is the first time scientists have created a complex organ with biological materials.
"This is the first time anyone anywhere has successfully engineered and printed an entire heart replete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers,"
"The biocompatibility of engineered materials is crucial to eliminating the risk of implant rejection, which jeopardizes the success of such treatments,"
"We need to develop the printed heart further," he concludes. "The cells need to form a pumping ability; they can currently contract, but we need them to work together. Our hope is that we will succeed and prove our method's efficacy and usefulness.
"Maybe, in ten years, there will be organ printers in the finest hospitals around the world, and these procedures will be conducted routinely."