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A team of Israeli researchers has “printed” the world’s first 3-D vascularized, engineered heart.
On Monday, a team of Tel Aviv University researchers revealed the heart, which was made using a patient’s own cells and biological material. Until now, scientists have successfully printed only simple tissues without blood vessels.
“This is the first time anyone anywhere has successfully engineered and printed an entire heart replete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers,” said Prof. Tal Dvir of TAU’s School of Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology, Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, and the Sagol Center for Regenerative Biotechnology, who was the lead researcher for the study.
He worked with Prof. Assaf Shapira of TAU’s Faculty of Life Sciences, and Nadav Moor, a doctoral student. Their research was published in Advanced Science.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death among both men and women in the United States. In Israel, it is the second largest cause of death (after cancer). In 2013, heart disease accounted for about 16% of the total number of deaths in Israel, according to the Health Ministry.