Custom-made Heart

How do you mend a broken heart? DIY – do it yourself!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

The most deadly heartbreak isn’t a bad breakup, but heart disease. It’s the number one killer in America! The only cure? A new heart! Unfortunately, heart donors are rare. And the new organ might even be rejected by the body.

Tal Dvir and his research team at Tel Aviv University in Israel want to help. They’ve developed a potential cure that DOESN’T rely on a donated organ.

The team first gathered cells from the patient’s stomach. Then they added special genes to reprogram them into human heart cells. They used these cells to three-D print an entirely new heart! Since each organ is printed from the patient’s own cells, their body shouldn’t reject it.

Can these copy-cat hearts pump blood like the real thing? Not yet, but Dvir’s team is working on it! They hope to soon test them inside patients. Dvir believes his design will lead to safer and easier heart transplants.

So the next time you’re suffering from a broken heart — print a new one! I hope it comes with free installation!