What looks like a prop from a steampunk movie is actually a partially decellularised heart in a bioreactor. This heart has the potential to save the lives of heart attack patients and, one day, people who need heart transplants too.
Tagged With hearts
I was really surprised when I saw this collection of hearts on Mars posted by El Comanderino Chris Hadfield. How are there so many craters with the shape of hearts in Mars? Are heart shapes pervasive through the entire galaxy? The hell I know. Just forward this post and tell your favourite astronerd you love him/her.
Coming fresh on the heels of the news that scientists are successfully 3D printing live, working, mini human kidneys, a new report in Nature is giving another burst of hope to the future of organ transplants. For the very first time, a research team has been able to grow human heart tissue that beats totally autonomously in its petri dish home.
Using cow parts to save ailing human hearts isn't anything new — you could even be sitting next to one of our more bovine brethren right now and think nothing of it. But the newest cow-to-heart integration takes a bit of a deeper dive into science fiction land. Soon, a French medical company will begin testing a "bioprosthetic" heart on actual human patients that is part cow, part synthetic, and loaded with software.
The idea of putting a decaying radioactive isotope inside your chest might make you a little uneasy — and rightly so. But, in 1967, the National Heart Institute and the Atomic Energy Agency set out to make it happen in the form of an plutonium-238-powered atomic heart. Think Tony Stark with nuclear waste in his chest.
Supercomputers let us simulate everything from the weather, to a chess match against a master, to how the human body operates. But researchers at Japan's National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center have created a detailed 3D simulation of a beating human heart that can run on a laptop, allowing even small hospitals to perform research and complex diagnoses.
Like all technology, medical implants can be made smaller as the engineering behind them gets more advanced. That's how a 16-month-old Italian baby was able to become the recipient of the world's smallest artificial heart — and have its life saved in the process.
It's fantastic enough that a British engineer designed his own heart textile implant in 2004 when he realised it was better than an aortic valve replacement. But even cooler is that since then, 23 other people have had them implanted.