3D-printed ventricles made from fiber-infused gel ink mimic heartbeats

The tissue-engineered 3D ventricle model. Image credit: Harvard SEAS

Researchers have found a way to use fiber-infused ink to 3D-print a functional heart ventricle that mimics the beating of a human heart.

The team included researchers from Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. They reported on their new hydrogel ink infused with gelatin fibers in a paper published in Nature Materials.

This fiber-infused gel (FIG) ink allows heart muscle cells printed in the shape of a ventricle to align, beating in coordination like a human heart chamber.

“People have been trying to replicate organ structures and functions to test drug safety and efficacy as a way of predicting what might happen in the clinical setting,” said Suji Choi, research associate at SEAS and first author on the pape…

Read more
  • 0

A new mechanically active adhesive fights muscle atrophy

Mechanically active gel-elastomer-nitinol tissue adhesive (MAGENTA) device prototypes made with a nitinol spring and elastomer insulation, with a penny for scale [Photo courtesy of the Wyss Institute at Harvard University]

Harvard bioengineers have created a mechanically active adhesive that can prevent muscle wasting and support atrophy recovery.

They call it MAGENTA, an acronym for mechanically active gel–elastomer–nitinol tissue adhesive. Researchers from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences successfully tested MAGENTA in an animal model and published their study in Nature Materials.

“With MAGENTA, we developed a new integrated multi-component system for the mechanostimulation of muscle that can be directly placed on muscle tissue to trigger key molecular pathways for growth,” senior au…

Read more
  • 0

Startup licenses Harvard tech to develop ultra-sensitive COVID antibody assay

This colorized scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (round blue objects), the virus that causes COVID-19, emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. [Image courtesy of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases]

New startup Spear Bio plans to commercialize ultrasensitive protein-detection technology from Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

Boston-based Spear Bio licensed the DNA nanotechnology-driven Successive Proximity Extension Amplification Reaction (SPEAR) in a worldwide exclusive agreement with Harvard’s Office of Technology Development.

Spear Bio will develop a reagent-based platform for ultrasensitive protein detection in small-volume samples with an initial focus on research-use-only applications, Harvard said in a news release.

RELATED: Here’s where Harvard’s engineering dean sees medtech research going Read more

  • 0

Harvard researchers plan to sell at-home, PCR-grade COVID testing system

3EO Health’s at-home COVID-19 testing device [Photo courtesy of 3EO Health}

The Harvard University researchers who developed an ultrasensitive, PCR-grade nucleic acid detection technology plan to commercialize it as a portable COVID-19 test.

Harvard Medical School professor Peng Yin, who also leads the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering’s Molecular Robotics Initiative, founded 3EO Health to sell the device.

“In order to optimize the value of testing, tests should be simple to use, affordable, rapid, and accurate,” Yin said in a news release. “When it comes to COVID at-home tests, existing antigen tests lack sensitivity, and molecular tests are expensive. We have developed a simple and rapid test platform that promises to deliver PCR-level accuracy at antigen-level cost.”

3EO Health has a worldwide exclusive license agreement for the technology …

Read more
  • 0

Americans apparently trust healthcare professionals more than FDA, CDC

[Image from Pixaby]

As the U.S. tries to reach a post-COVID-19 pandemic “normal,” Americans are placing more trust in nurses and doctors than agencies such as the CDC and FDA, according to a new survey from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The survey — conducted Feb. 11 – March 15, 2021 among a nationally representative, probability-based sample of 1,305 adults — included the following results:

[Graph courtesy of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health]

The results matter because agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration are supposed to provide an important role in advising people about how to respond to COVID-19 and other public health emergencies. The CDC made waves over the past week when it re…
Read more
  • 0

Could face masks light up to detect COVID-19?

Researchers at Harvard University have developed a face mask with a sensor to detect COVID-19, according to a BusinessInsider report.

Wyss Institute researcher James Collins and his group developed a rapid self-activating COVID-19 diagnostic face mask. It can be worn by patients or people at home who have symptoms of coronavirus to quickly signal the presence of the virus without the need for hands-on manipulation, according to Harvard University.

Collins and the researchers suggest that patients can be easily triaged for proper medical care while healthcare workers and patients nearby are protected by using the diagnostic wearable.

The mask is made using highly sensitive molecular sensors coupled to synthetic biology networks and shows an immediately visible or florescent color signal when CoV2 is detected. It is cell-free molecular machinery that is freeze-dried and integrated with synthetic material on the interior of the face mask.

Once expose…

Read more
  • 0