Tag Archives: Heart Disease

3D Printing with Stem Cells

Transplants are expensive and risky, and donor organs are in short supply. Researchers at UC San Diego are working on technology to change all of that. It’s called bioprinting. In simple terms, bioprinting is 3D printing with living tissue. Researcher Shaochen Chen has been perfecting the process in his lab for years.

Bioprinting is a complex process that takes place in a matter of seconds right before your eyes. Chen’s lab builds their own printing machines, which shine light into a gel the team has developed. Any spot the light hits becomes solid. Because the process uses light, it allows the team to recreate microscopic structures like liver cells or vascular networks with incredible precision.

While the process enables researchers to accurately reproduce biological structures, it’s what’s inside the gel that makes bioprinting truly remarkable. The gel can be filled with stem cells from a potential transplant recipient. Those cells can fuse with tissue in the body as the gel disintegrates, essentially repairing damage with the patient’s own cells. Chen’s lab has shown the process can work in rats with severe spinal cord injuries. Someday, the process could be used in humans to do the same.

Bioprinting is also helpful to researchers in other fields. Chen has teamed up with Alysson Muotri and Karl Wahlin to help them study the connection between the eye and the brain. Their labs are conducting research using organoids – tiny organ-like structures grown from stem cells. They realized in order to effectively study how brain and retinal organoids interact with one another, they need to physically separate them at just the right distance, similar to how they might be separated in the womb. Chen’s lab developed a bioprinted structure to achieve that separation, taking the partnership to the next level.

Watch — 3D Printing with Stem Cells – Shaochen Chen

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1 in Every 4 Deaths in the U.S. is Due to Heart Disease

8232Cardiovascular disease is the nation’s leading cause of death. People of all ages and backgrounds can get the condition. Fortunately, the last two decades have witnessed incredible advances in our understanding and treatment of heart disease. This new series will help you get current on developments in diagnoses, treatment and prevention with UC San Francisco cardiologists.

Learn more about the advances in preventive cardiology focusing on the role of genetics, diet, exercise, cholesterol, life style changes and integrative care.

Preventive Cardiology
Genetics for Preventive Cardiology

Get current on drug and device treatments as well cardiac transplantation. Find out about the latest advances in the treatment of patients with heart attacks as well as the remarkable advances in non-open chest repair of heart valves.

Replacing Heart Valves Without Open Cardiac Surgery
Rhythms Of The Heart

Discover the causes and treatment options for patients with cardiac rhythm abnormalities such as use of ablation for cure of common rhythm disturbances including Atrial Fibrillation.

Arterial Fibrillation for the Interested Layperson
Sudden Cardiac Death
Examining Heart Failure: How To Recognize And Treat The Weak Heart

Cardiovascular diseases claim more lives than all forms of cancer combined. Find out what everybody ought to know about this all too common disease.

Browse more programs in Cardiology.

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