The leading cause of death in the U.S. is heart disease. While many of the organs contained in the human body can repair themselves, the heart cannot. For this reason, tissue engineering will be crucial for the development of cardiac medicine, ultimately leading to the production of a whole human heart for transplant.

The first biohybrid model of a human ventricle with helically aligned beating cardiac cells was created by bioengineers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and it has been demonstrated that muscle alignment does significantly increase the amount of blood the ventricle can pump upon each contraction.

The research is published in Science.

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