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…

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Researchers develop implantable heart valve that grows with a child

The FibraValve is composed of long filaments of polymer fibers, which replicate the physical properties of a human heart valve and are porous enough to allow cells to infiltrate and replace the scaffold with living tissue. Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University

A research team at the Wyss Institute and Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) say they developed a heart valve that can grow with a child, minimizing surgical complications and suffering.

This research team developed a nanofiber fabrication technique to rapidly manufacture heart valves with regenerative and growth potential. They began their work in 2014 and touted the potential of this technology as far back as 2017.

The team described the steps taken in a new paper published in Matter. They say they can manufacture their next-generation synthetic heart valve — FibraValve — in less than 10 minutes…

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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 …

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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…

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