Novel Mini Heart Pump May Accelerate Cures For Heart Diseases

Jul, 2022 - By SMI

Novel Mini Heart Pump May Accelerate Cures For Heart Diseases

Scientists developed a small replica of living heart chamber to mimic the real organ with more accuracy and offer a sandbox for testing new treatments for heart diseases

To study human physiology and development of therapeutics biomimetic on-chip tissue models are important. However, modeling power of these biomimetic is restricted as developing functional structures that are highly ordered in small scale of length is difficult. Now a group of researchers at Boston University developed a miniature mechanical heart, which is powered using live cardiac cells.

This new flat-bodied cardiac miniaturized Precision-enabled Unidirectional Microfluidic Pump or miniPUMP is only 3 sq cm that is 0.5 sq in. in size. It imitates ventricle’s (lower chamber) function in real heart. It pumps water within itself in similar way that blood is pumped by a real heart. This new device comprises a base that is plastic, acrylic vales made by 3D printing that are mounted on this base, the real pump and tubes. The real pump in this device contains a scaffold created from connected concentric acrylic spirals. These spirals consists real human heart muscle cells or cardiomyocytes. When these cells contract or expand in harmony, the scaffold also moves with these cells and the water gets pumped through this new device.

The human heart muscle cells can be harvested from skin, blood or any other kind of cells that are easily accessible. The team reprogrammed these from normal cells to stem cells and further prompted them to distinguish between heart cells that allows patients to have miniPUMPs developed from patient’s own cells for examining the effects of various medications on their heart. According to the team, with this system some of the heart function can be replicated easily and one day other organ-on-a-chip devices like kidneys and lungs could be produced using this same technique.

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