A researcher from Canada developed a 3D bioprinted heart patch. This can help with damaged heart tissue. His research can improve medicine, in general.
Testing of the heart patch technology
Mohammad Izadifar is a biomedical engineering PhD student at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. He has specialized in heart disease and heart disease treatments. The 3D bioprinted heart patch was tested on animals. Until now, this researcher has been able to implant his heart patch technology into test rats. The implantation process with the rats, has already shown promising results. The rats with a 3D printed heart patch had a 70% survival rate. On the other hand, the survival rate noted for similar surgical procedures is 50%. Currently, the researcher is focusing his work on studying the longer-term effects of the 3D printed heart patch on the rats.
How does the 3D bioprinted heart patch work?
Impressively, Izadifar says his innovative 3D bioprinted heart patch could be ready for use in humans soon enough. It could start helping people in about 10 years,. The goal of his research is to revolutionize treatment processes for heart disease. When a person has a heart attack, blood flow partially or fully blocks a certain part of the vital organ. If the person survives the attack, healthy tissue cannot regenerate naturally to fully recover the heart. The researcher’s heart patch, however, could provide a solution to this problem. Izadifar developed a patch using biocompatible materials and a 3D bioprinter. The patch, which consists of a “porous jelly-like structure” and is made from an algae-based hydrogel, is designed to dissolve into the patient’s heart after implanting it.
The design of the 3D bioprinted patch helps house stem cells and biocompatible nanoparticles. These nanoparticles are sending signals to the heart’s blood vessels. By doing this, thy are effectively promoting and encouraging the regrowth of the damaged heart tissue. More specifically, the nanoparticles in the 3D bioprinted scaffold prompt the stem cells (also in the patch) to transform into heart cells. This gradually helps to regenerate the patient’s own damaged heart, even helping to create new blood vessels.
As Izadifar claims: “With the help of this patch, a patient would be able to regenerate heart tissue from their own cells. It would be a permanent treatment for heart attack.”