Scientists at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University have successfully fabricated a heart-on-a-chip with integrated sensors using a fully-automated manufacturing process. The Wyss researchers, in collaboration with colleagues from Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), are able to customize synthetic heart models to mimic the size, shape, and other physical attributes of any patient’s heart. This advancement will make collecting data in culture much faster and more reliable.
Kit Parker, PhD, a senior co-author of the study, believes this fabrication method will help drive advancements in toxicology, in-vitro tissue engineering, and drug screening research. Before developing these advanced 3d-printing inks and the new microfabrication method, building organs-on-a-chip was very expensive and laborious. The techniques used in this new printing system enables the Wyss team to add more complexity, while reducing the needs for atmosphere control and continued interventions during the manufacturing process.