Researchers at the Wake Forest School of Medicine have created 3D Printed beating artificial heart cells called Organoids.
The heart cells are created by first genetically modifying adult human skin cells into induced pluripotent stem cells. Then, the induced stem cells are redesigned to create the Organoids. After the Organoids are formed, the spheroids of the Organoids are 3D Printed with a specialized 3D Printer at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
According to Ivy Mead, a graduate student at the Wake Forest School of Medicine, the 3D Printed heart cells beats due to the specialize cardiac cells and the environment the cells are kept in.
In an interview with Popular Mechanics, the researchers stated that the cells have to be stored in the same temperature as the human body to beat. The team has said that they can “stimulate the miniature organ with electrical or chemical cues to alter the beating patterns. Also, when we grow them in three-dimensions it allows for them to interact with each other more easily, as they would in the human body.”
The $24 million project ultimately seeks to create several types of 3D Printed lab grown organs to have it perform the actual functions of the human organs.
The team of Anthony Atala, the leading U.S. researcher in regenerative medicine have already built human bladders and vaginas, which have been successfully implanted for years.