3D-PRINTED heart parts have been built from the same protein used to give women trout pouts.
They were created in a medical first from collagen, the main building block for human tissue.
Boffins developed the technique to mass produce anatomical structures.
The cardiac tissue, ventricles and even a newborn’s heart were copies of structures seen in patients’ MRI scans.
Researchers used a new technique to print with collagen, best known for its use in lip injections.
The US team hopes the breakthrough will allow hearts and other organs to be built for transplant.
Dr Andrew Lee, a biomedical engineer, said: "The method can create complex structural and functional tissue architectures that can be further embedded with living cells or complex vasculature at printing resolutions up to 10 micrometers."
His team used this approach to create human heart parts entirely from collagen and human cells including cardiac tissue, contractile ventricles – and even a newborn's heart.
The result was successfully printed parts of the human heart from collagen hydrogels.
"Although the 3D bioprinting of a fully functional organ is yet to be achieved, we now have the ability to build constructs that start to recapitulate the structural, mechanical, and biological properties of native tissues."
Dr Queeny Dasgupta, of Tufts University in the US who was not involved in the study, described it having "unprecedented promise" for the future.
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