Cardiovascular scientists predict it will possible to use 3D printers to make a whole heart from the recipients' own cells within a decade, according to Wired
"America put a man on the moon in less than a decade. I said a full decade to provide some wiggle room," Stuart K Williams told Wired.co.uk.
Williams, executive and scientific director of the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute at the University of Louisville, said the idea for printing the heart whole from scratch was inspired by Charles Lindbergh. Lindbergh is best known for flying solo across the Atlantic, but he also helped create a glass pump that would keep the human heart alive outside the body, paving the way for heart surgery.
Williams said he and his team of more than 20 have already bioengineered a coronary artery and printed the smallest blood vessels in the heart used in microcirculation.
"These studies have reached the advanced preclinical stage showing printed blood vessels will reconnect with the recipient tissue creating new blood flow in the printed tissue," he said.