3-D-printed patch can help mend a 'broken' heart

April 14, 2017, University of Minnesota
A team of biomedical engineering researchers has created a revolutionary 3-D-bioprinted patch that can help heal scarred heart tissue after a heart attack. Two of the researchers involved are biomedical engineering Associate Professor Brenda Ogle (right) and Ph.D. student Molly Kupfer (left). Credit: Patrick O'Leary, University of Minnesota

A team of biomedical engineering researchers, led by the University of Minnesota, has created a revolutionary 3D-bioprinted patch that can help heal scarred heart tissue after a heart attack. The discovery is a major step forward in treating patients with tissue damage after a heart attack.

The research study is published today in Circulation Research, a journal published by the American Heart Association. Researchers have filed a patent on the discovery.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S. killing more than 360,000 people a year. During a heart attack, a person loses blood flow to the heart muscle and that causes cells to die. Our bodies can't replace those so the body forms scar tissue in that area of the heart, which puts the person at risk for compromised heart function and future heart failure.

In this study, researchers from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and University of Alabama-Birmingham used laser-based 3D-bioprinting techniques to incorporate stem cells derived from adult human heart cells on a matrix that began to grow and beat synchronously in a dish in the lab.

When the cell patch was placed on a mouse following a simulated , the researchers saw significant increase in functional capacity after just four weeks. Since the patch was made from cells and structural proteins native to the heart, it became part of the heart and absorbed into the body, requiring no further surgeries.

"This is a significant step forward in treating the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S.," said Brenda Ogle, an associate professor of at the University of Minnesota. "We feel that we could scale this up to repair hearts of larger animals and possibly even humans within the next several years."

Ogle said that this research is different from previous research in that the patch is modeled after a digital, three-dimensional scan of the structural proteins of native heart tissue. The digital model is made into a physical structure by 3D printing with proteins native to the heart and further integrating cardiac cell types derived from stem cells. Only with 3D printing of this type can we achieve one micron resolution needed to mimic structures of native heart .

"We were quite surprised by how well it worked given the complexity of the heart," Ogle said. "We were encouraged to see that the had aligned in the scaffold and showed a continuous wave of electrical signal that moved across the patch."

Ogle said they are already beginning the next step to develop a larger that they would test on a pig heart, which is similar in size to a human .

Explore further: Tissue engineering advance reduces heart failure in model of heart attack

More information: Ling Gao et al, Myocardial Tissue Engineering With Cells Derived From Human-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells and a Native-Like, High-Resolution, 3-Dimensionally Printed ScaffoldNovelty and Significance, Circulation Research (2017). DOI: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.116.310277

Related Stories

Tissue engineering advance reduces heart failure in model of heart attack

January 26, 2017
Researchers have grown heart tissue by seeding a mix of human cells onto a 1-micron-resolution scaffold made with a 3-D printer. The cells organized themselves in the scaffold to create engineered heart tissue that beats ...

Stem cell patch shows early promise in treating heart failure

April 5, 2017
Patching a damaged heart with a patient's own muscle stem cells improves symptoms of heart failure, according to a Phase I clinical trial reported in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the ...

Scientists create 'beating' human heart muscle for cardiac research

March 17, 2017
Scientists at The University of Queensland have taken a significant step forward in cardiac disease research by creating a functional 'beating' human heart muscle from stem cells.

Stem cell-sheet transplantation feasible in cardiomyopathy

April 6, 2017
(HealthDay)—Stem cell-sheet transplantation shows promise in the treatment of cardiomyopathy, according to research published online April 5 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Heart attack treatment might be in your face

February 7, 2017
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) have received $2.4 million in federal funding to pursue research on a novel cell therapy that would repair heart damage using modified cells taken from the patient's own facial ...

Scientists create heart cells better, faster, stronger

November 10, 2016
Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes identified two chemicals that improve their ability to transform scar tissue in a heart into healthy, beating heart muscle. The new discovery advances efforts to find new and effective ...

Recommended for you

Hippo pathway found essential to orchestrate the development of the heart

April 23, 2018
Using a technology that provides a 'high-resolution view' of the status of individual cells, a team of researchers has gained new insights into the embryonic development of the mouse heart. They discovered that during development, ...

Compound improves stroke outcome by reducing lingering inflammation

April 20, 2018
An experimental compound appears to improve stroke outcome by reducing the destructive inflammation that can continue months after a stroke, scientists report.

Infections could trigger stroke in pregnant women during hospital delivery

April 20, 2018
Pregnant women who have an infection when they enter the hospital for delivery might be at higher risk of having a stroke during their stay, according to new research.

Novel antioxidant makes old blood vessels seem young again

April 19, 2018
Older adults who take a novel antioxidant that specifically targets cellular powerhouses, or mitochondria, see age-related vascular changes reverse by the equivalent of 15 to 20 years within six weeks, according to new University ...

Changing how blood pressure is measured will save lives

April 19, 2018
Traditional methods of testing for high-blood pressure are no longer adequate and risk missing vital health signs, which can lead to premature death, a study co-led by UCL has found.

Eyes of adolescents could reveal risk of cardiovascular disease

April 19, 2018
New research has found that poorer well-being or 'health-related quality of life' (HRQoL) in adolescence could be an indicator of future cardiovascular disease risk.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.