Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S. According to the American Heart Association it kills 3,60,000 plus people in a year. The cells die during a heart attack as the individual loses the blood flow to the heart muscle. Typically a human body cannot replace these heart muscle cells which is why the body forms a scar tissue in that area. This can put the individual at risk of a future heart failure and a compromised heart function. What can be touted as good news, a news release by the University of Minnesota mentions that their team of researchers created a revolutionary 3d printed patch which helps recover heart attack.
The team of researchers have created a 3d bio-printed patch which helps heal the scarred heart tissue. This is a revolutionary bio-printed patch which can make the restoration of the heart tissue a reality. This team of bio-medical engineering researchers is led by the University of Minnesota. Patients suffer from tissue damage after suffering from a heart attack, and this discovery can be a major break-through in treating such patients.
3d Printed Patch - Study Results Seem to be Promising
The University of Minnesota reports in an official news release, that this research study is published in the Circulation Research by the American Heart Association. Along with this break-through, the researchers have also filed a patent for this discovery. Researchers from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, University of Alabama-Birmingham, and University of Wisconsin-Madison carried this study that can prove as a major benefit to heart attack patients.
Stem cells acquired from an adult human heart are embodied on a matrix using laser based 3d bio-printing techniques. When these cells grow, this matrix replicates the structures of a normal heart tissue as well as it starts beating in sync. As Engadget reports, the early results seem to be promising.
A Solution to Treat the Number 1 cause of Death
The team of researchers carried out a test on a rodent. Following a stimulated heart attack, a cell patch was placed on the rodent. In a time span of 4 weeks, the mouse’s heart saw a ‘significant increase’ in its functional capacity. This 3d printed patch is made from proteins and cells that are native to the heart. Also, this patch absorbed into the rodent’s heart without tough follow-up surgeries. But obviously, a rodent’s heart is easier to repair compared to a human heart. Hopefully, the team believes that in the upcoming years it will be feasible to patch human hearts easily.
“This is a significant step forward in treating the No.1 cause of death in the U.S. We feel that we could scale this up to repair hearts of larger animals and possibly even humans within the next several years”; says Brenda Ogle in a news release by the University of Minnesota. Brenda ogle is an associate professor of bio-medical engineering at this university.