Engineers have grown an important part of the human heart in miniature

Although research into treat­ments for car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease has made great strides in recent decades, heart dis­ease still kills near­ly 18 mil­lion peo­ple world­wide each year.

A small, prac­ti­cal mod­el of the human ven­tri­cle opens up new hori­zons in the devel­op­ment of new drugs and ther­a­pies, and the study of the devel­op­ment of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, pro­vid­ing researchers with an eth­i­cal and more accu­rate alter­na­tive to the cur­rent approach. There is a possibility.

Researchers at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mon­tre­al (Cana­da) have found a 1‑millimeter (0.04 inch) long blood ves­sel that not only beats like the real thing, but also pumps flu­id like the mus­cu­lar out­flow cham­ber of the human embry­o’s heart. is created.

“This mod­el can mea­sure the amount and pres­sure of flu­id that is expelled each time the ven­tri­cle con­tracts,” explains Sar­gol Oho­va­t­ian, a bio­med­ical engi­neer at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toronto.

“Both were hard­ly pos­si­ble with pre­vi­ous models.”

There are usu­al­ly only a hand­ful of options for find­ing out how a sick or healthy heart sheds blood.

Organs that are no longer ful­ly func­tion­al, such as those removed at the time of dis­sec­tion, exhib­it authen­tic­i­ty with­out activity.

Tis­sue cul­ture pro­vides a win­dow for under­stand­ing bio­chem­i­cal func­tions, but it does not pro­vide a com­plete pic­ture of the hydraulic char­ac­ter­is­tics of pul­sat­ing mass­es in three dimensions.

Ani­mal mod­els allow researchers to test how the liv­ing heart func­tions as a pump under the influ­ence of new­ly devel­oped ther­a­pies, but it is not always the most eth­i­cal option. not.

This new heart-like organ rides on the waves of a three-dimen­sion­al mod­el of a body part that devel­ops and behaves as nature intend­ed (it nev­er becomes a ful­ly func­tion­al organ), mix­ing syn­thet­ic and bio­log­i­cal mate­ri­als. It was grown in the laboratory.

Cells obtained from the car­dio­vas­cu­lar tis­sue of young rats were grown on a poly­mer-print­ed scaf­fold lay­er with grooves to induce tis­sue growth.

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