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Your location: Home > Related Articles > New progress in 3D printed cardiac experiments for testing life-saving drugs

New progress in 3D printed cardiac experiments for testing life-saving drugs

Author:QINSUN Released in:2024-02 Click:32

Last April, a team led by Professor Tal Dvir from the George S. Wise School of Life Sciences at Tel Aviv University in Israel successfully created the first 3D printed heart using tissue extracted from patients. Researchers estimate that customized organs and tissues may be printed within 10 to 15 years to address the risks of insufficient donated organs and transplant rejection. Meanwhile, this innovative technology also has the potential to revolutionize another field of medical research: drug screening.

Professor Dvir said, "In a culture dish, all cells are arranged in a two-dimensional form and are just one type of cell. In contrast, our engineered tissue is 3D printed, making it more like real heart tissue. The tissue we print includes myocardium, blood vessels, and extracellular matrix, which connect different cells through biochemical, mechanical, and electrical means.". Transferring from culture dishes to 3D printed tissues can significantly improve drug testing, save valuable time and money, and have the potential to produce safer and more effective drugs

Recently, Tel Aviv University signed a cooperation agreement with Bayer to develop and validate a platform for in vitro cardiac toxicity screening. This platform utilizes 3D printed human heart tissue from Professor Tal Dvir's engineering tissue and regenerative medicine laboratory. In the coming years, Professor Dvir's team and Bayer plan to use printed complete human hearts to test the toxicity and efficacy of new drugs.

Candidate drugs need to go through several screening stages before being marketed. Firstly, the new compound needs to be tested in human tissue culture. Then, testing is conducted on experimental animals. Later, the drug was approved for use in human clinical trials.

Professor Dvir hopes to provide Bayer with preclinical trials for complete printed organs in the near future. Professor Dvir said, "Our protocol is just the beginning, our ultimate goal is to print out the complete human heart, including all different chambers, valves, arteries, and veins, to simulate this complex organ to a large extent, in order to better achieve the toxicological screening process."

In order to further utilize this technology, Ramot Corporation of Tel Aviv University has licensed the technology to a subsidiary called Matricelf, which is mainly dedicated to manufacturing customized spinal cord implants for the treatment of paralyzed patients. Matricelf has recently received a huge investment, enabling it to achieve clinical applications in the near future.

Keren Primor Cohen, CEO of Ramot, said, "Professor Dvir's innovative platform is very promising. We believe that cooperation with Bayer will support the evaluation and development of new drugs, which is a step towards building a long-term relationship. We hope that this will ultimately benefit both partners and patients."

Eckhard von Keutz, the head of scientific transformation at Bayer, said, "We are pleased to begin this new collaboration with the University of Tel Aviv, which will focus on new areas for early assessment of the safety and tolerability of candidate drugs.". We already have a network of partners, and this new project enables Bayer to expand open innovation activities to Israel, providing a vibrant ecosystem for innovation in biotechnology and medical research.

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