Scientists Say They Just Created the World’s First 3D-Printed Heart

April 16, 2019

(Quartz) – The new experimental organ is tiny—about the size of a rabbit’s heart, or half the size of your thumb, say. It doesn’t yet beat, which means it can’t pump blood, and that of course is an extremely important function. Nonetheless, this development is remarkable. The researchers made their organic ink for 3D printing using human fatty tissue. They separated the tissue’s cellular and non-cellular components, creating stem cells which they then directed to grow into either cardio or endothelial cells. The non-cellular components and “programmed” cells together formed the basis for a “hydrogel,” or “bio-ink,” used in the printing process.