BIOLIFE4D, a Chicago-based company, has created a small 3D-printed human heart. The heart has the same inner-workings as a full-sized heart and was entirely 3D-printed. BIOLIFE4D's 3D-printed human heart was created using cells from cardiac muscle, which are also called cardiomyocytes. The heart was then comprised of bioink, which was created using extracellular matrix compounds which mimic the tissue of a human heart.
BIOLIFE4D has goals to eventually be able to bioprint a fully functioning human heart. 3D printed organs would be able to replace the need for organ donations and provide much faster organ replacements to patients in need. The company was first able to bioprint cardiac tissue in June of 2018, and this most recent achievement builds toward the company's goals.
Image Credit: BIOLIFE4D