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Indiana company hopes to create first 3D printed heart – WDRB

by • July 2, 2016 • No Comments

GREENVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) – It may be a massive medical breakthrough which may alter the lives of individuals waiting for a heart transplant: 3D printing a human heart. As crazy as it sounds, a local company is on a undertaking to manufacture it take place.
Growing up playing baseball, Eugene Boland had to have 5 knee surgeries. “Found out which there was nothing except for donor tissue which may replace it, and I idea it was stupid,” said Boland. “No synthetic, no engineering solution.”
Because of which, he wanted to find solutions as a bio-engineer. Years later, Dr. Boland can in no way believe the undertaking he is on: print a human heart. “Excitement, fear and it is just it is sounds both Buck Rogers and science fiction and just the culmination of a career all in one sentence,” said Boland.
Boland is the chief scientist at Techshot, a company which develops cutting edge instruments for NASA, the Department of Defense, and other organizations. John Vellinger helped begin Techshot in Greenville, Indiana, 28 years ago. He is the Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of the company. This project may be his excellentest achievement. “If a young child has a heart defect and they require a heart transplant, we may take their own stem cells, turn it into a human heart, implant which into the patient, and it may grow with which child, therefore reducing the number of heart transplants they can have to have over its life,” Vellinger explained.
3D printing has come a long way. We have seen the machines hustle out toys, donate a duck new prosthetic feet, and in January, WDRB introduced viewers to a man with a 3D printed knee replacement.
But it is organs which are complex to turn it into. Techshot is working with two other companies to turn it into a human heart in space. “There’s strides being created in orthopedic tissues which don’t have a lot of blood vessels. The real problem is vasculature. getting blood vessels expanding into tissues,” said Boland.
Scientists around the world are attempting to bio-print organs, but it has not been done. “The real trick is being able-bodied to get the cells to grow and for the reason of gravity here on the ground, individuals have been attempting for 10-15 years but just cannot get the vascularization, those cells to grow in which structure,” said Vellinger.
That is why this team is attempting to do it in outer space. “Gravity is a deterrent here on the ground and in space you don’t have gravity, so therefore it turn it intos opportunities to manufacture a additional ideal structure,” said Vellinger.
Recently, the team took their equipment to Orlando and tested it in a zero-gravity simulator with good results. “We in fact printed the structure with living human stem cells of a baby heart during which system. Our future step is to take which same machine and put it up on a rocket, a sounding rocket which can go up and orbit the earth, and and so after which we are going to put which innovation on the space station,” said Vellinger.
On the international space station is where they hope their equipment can be able-bodied to turn it into the initially bio-printed human heart. “NASA’s quite excited of this opportunity for the reason to be able-bodied to say which space is key for this to take place, is excellent for equiteone,” said Vellinger.
Boland says the initially transplant is inside reach. “We fully assume to bring back a transplantable-bodied organ by 2024,” said Boland.
“With innovation coming together and you throw in the aspect of space, I ponder there’s real opportunities to manufacture primary breakthroughs,” introduced Vellinger.
Vellinger says NASA is sponsoring a contest which is offering $500,000 to grow tissue which is one centimeter high which is vascularized. Vellinger says which money may just additional the work they are doing.
Copyright 2016 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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