3D Printed Cardiac Patch Mends Damaged Hearts

The cardiac patch supports high tensile strains, which is critical since it’s placed on a contracting heart. Image Courtesy of Miguel Castilho, Alain van Mil, Malachy Maher, Corina H.G. Metz, Gernot Hochleitner, Jürgen Groll, Pieter A. Doevendans, Keita Ito, Joost P.G. Sluijter, and Jos Malda; Melt Electrowriting Allows Tailored Microstructural and Mechanical Design of Scaffolds to Advance Functional Human Myocardial Tissue Formation; Advanced Functional Materials 2018; Copyright Wiley—VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA. Reproduced with permission.

The team employed an electrohydrodynamic printing process known as melt electrowriting (MEW) to engineer 3D fiber scaffolds, which could help the newly-injected cells remain in the live heart and grow. The stretchable microfiber scaffold, which featured a hexagonal or beehive design, was combined with specialized stem cells, with the aim of supporting the cells and improving their maturation, the study said.

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