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Health New Researches

New Grain of Rice Sized Lab Grown Heart Could End Animal Medical Testing

Tissue Dynamics

Hand with a microchip (credit Tissue Dynamics)

Scientists from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Israeli firm Tissue Dynamics have miraculously succeeded in growing a micro-heart – the size of a grain of rice – from stem cells. The scientists described this as a “remarkable breakthrough” in that the tiny heart can be used for medical research.

This self-paced multi-chambered human heart model has sensors that reveal a new mechanism of cardiac arrhythmia not found in small animals.

The scientists added that such lab grown organs could make it unnecessary to use animals in the future for medical research, thereby sparing the animals. “This breakthrough discovery could mark a turning point in the pharmaceutical industry, reducing reliance on animal models and minimizing potential harm to animals in the pursuit of medical advancements,” the Hebrew University said.

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Partnering with Tissue Dynamics, the scientists developed a robotic system that can screen 20,000 tiny human hearts in parallel for drug discovery applications. The potential applications of this micro-physiological system are vast, promising to enhance our understanding of heart physiology and accelerate the discovery of safer and more effective pharmaceutical interventions, leading to a healthier future for all.

Already, the research team says that it has made “groundbreaking” discoveries that were previously unattainable using conventional methods. Notably, the heart model unveiled a new form of cardiac arrhythmia, distinct from those observed in traditional animal models, thereby offering new avenues for studying human physiology.

Professor Nahmias, Director of the Grass Center for Bioengineering at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and AIMBE, emphasized the significance of their work saying, “The integration of our complex human heart model with sensors, allowed us to monitor critical physiological parameters in real-time, revealing intricate mitochondrial dynamics driving cardiac rhythms. It is a new chapter in human physiology.”

Prof. Yaakov “Koby” Nahmias is a bioengineer and innovator, whose breakthroughs ranged from the first 3D printing of cells to human-on-chip technology. He is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, and the founding director of the Grass Center for Bioengineering. Nahmias is a recipient of a NIH career award, two European Research Council (ERC) grants, the Kaye Innovation Award and the prestigious Rappaport Prize in Biomedical Research.

Tissue Dynamics is an AI-driven Bionic-Human-MPS Drug Development company with Animal-Free, Human-Relevant Disease Models and Sensor-Illuminated Drug Discovery and development platform

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