Reverse engineering the heart: U of T Engineering team creates bioartificial left ventricle

U of T Engineering researchers have grown a small-scale model of a human left heart ventricle in the lab. The bioartificial tissue construct is made with living heart cells and beats strongly enough to pump fluid inside a bioreactor. 

In the human heart, the left ventricle is the one that pumps freshly oxygenated blood into the aorta, and from there into the rest of the body. The new lab-grown model could offer researchers a new way to study a wide range of heart diseases and conditions, as well as to test out potential therapies. 

“With our model, we can measure ejection volume — how much fluid gets pushed out each time the ventricle contracts — as well as the pressure of that fluid,” says Sargol Okhovatian (BME PhD candidate). “Both of these were nearly impossible to get with previous models.” 

Okhovatian and Mohammad Hossein Mohammadi (ChemE MASc 2T1) are co-lead authors on a new paper in Advanced Biology that describes the model they designed. Their multidisciplinary team was led by Professor Milica Radisic (BME, ChemE), senior author of the paper.

Read full U of T Engineering News story.