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Apr 15, 2017 10:04 PM EDT

University Discovery Makes A Broken Heart Fix A Possibility With 3D-bioprinted Patch [Video]

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Star Wars actor Carrie Fisher 'suffers heart attack'

Looks like you can now mend a 'broken' heart.' But it's not the kind of broken one obtains after break-ups or death; it's the kind of broken that mankind obtains after a cardiac arrest. A 3D printed patch made by the biomedical engineers from the University of Minnesota makes this feat possible.

University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering brought the world a 3d-printed patch that heals scarred tissues of victims who have suffered heart attack. This is a big deal in the treatment of patients, Science Daily reported.

The American Heart Association says that heart disease is the number one cause of death in the US. The disease kills over 360,000 people every year. When a person goes through a heart attack, blood ceases to flow to the heart muscle which causes the cells to die.

Since the human body can no longer reproduce the dead cells, it forms a scar on the tissue in the area where the blood stopped flowing. This further puts a patient at risk by compromising the heart's function and by deliberately making the victim susceptible for future cardiac arrests.

The researchers in this study used a 3D-bioprinted technique to create a patch that incorporates stem cells to a matrix grown from a Petri dish. The stem cells are derived from human heart cells. Take a look at the video below the article to see a beating cardiac patch.

The cell patch was then placed on a mouse that has gone through a simulated cardiac arrest. After four weeks, the researchers found that the mouse' heart shows significant increase in functional capacity. The patch, since it was created from the organic ingredients of the heart, it later on became part of the heart which means surgeries are no longer required to extract it, Eureka Alert reported.

One of the proponents of the study, Brenda Ogle, said that they were surprised to find that their patch worked very well considering that the heart has a complex nature. She said the moment they saw the patch align to the scaffold and showed continuous beating, they were encouraged.

Ogle said they are now creating a larger patch that can heal scarred tissues on much larger animals.

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