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Heart repair using personalised heart tissues

Project Member(s): Gentile, C.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Perpetual Trustees
Perpetual Trustees

Start year: 2023

Summary: Every ten minutes an Australian has a heart attack. A quarter of these patients will not receive proper treatment in a timely manner and will develop heart failure due to irreversible damage to their heart. For patients with end-stage heart failure, the gold standard treatment is a heart transplant. In Australia, around 100 hearts are transplanted every year, whereas approximatively 13,000 patients develop heart failure per year. Transplantation of a heart is not always safe for patients and 50% of patients die within 5 years after receiving their transplant. Dr Gentile's preliminary studies demonstrated that a transplantation of the bioink is safe and improves cardiac function in infarcted mice. Dr Gentile's technology could overcome the shortage of transplantable hearts and the risk of rejection, as well as reducing long recovery times, offering an alternative and faster solution to improve the quality of life of patients. Bioprinting and grafting a customsized heart tissue patch for a patient could take up to six months, a substantial reduction from the waiting time for a transplant. Furthermore, the engineered heart patch would not require the lifelong use of antirejection drugs that accompany a heart transplant. In this world-first project, Dr Gentile's team will apply over 15 years of research in cardiovascular bioengineering, now supported by a multidisciplinary team comprising experts in bioengineering, biomaterials, stem cells and medicine. The Team has recently demonstrated that bioprinting of viable and functional heart tissues using patient-derived cell is feasible, as well as the personalisation of the design for the patch to cover the damaged heart. In this project, the team will generate patient-derived heart tissues using their own cells and clinical imaging data. Novel designs will be compared to identify best way to transplant cells, by testing their long-term viability, engraftment and regained function in small animals.

FOR Codes: Cardiovascular medicine and haematology, Biomedical engineering, Health related to ageing