The biohybrid 3D printing technique has potential to advance drug development. (Credit: POSTECH)

Researchers have created an engineered heart via 3D printing technology that allows for early monitoring of drug-induced cardiotoxicity. They produced the heart model using biohybrid 3D printing.

The team developed a platform integrating the engineered heart tissue (EHT) with a bipillar-grafted strain gauge (BPSG) sensor. Their approach involved the 3D printing of two pillars that were subsequently grafted onto a substrate embedding strain gauges. After fabrication, the EHT was integrated into the BPSG sensor to create a tissue-sensor platform capable of real-time monitoring of heart contractions. Leveraging this platform with a multichannel wireless device, the team achieved continuous monitoring of EHT contractions and successfully demonstrated its utility in testing drug-induced acute and chronic cardiotoxicity.

Traditional in vitro monitoring systems for heart models’ contractions have had limitations in their ability to process large volumes of image-based data with high temporal resolution over prolonged periods. However, the newly developed tissue-sensor platform facilitates the quantitative measurement of contractile force with a relatively small volume of electrical readout, thus enabling long-term and continuous monitoring.

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