Can personalised heart tissue be produced in a kind of 3D printing process in the laboratory? Florian Richter asked himself this question in his study and final thesis "3D Bioprinting of Vascularized Cardiac Spheroids: A Novel Approach to Study Heart Angiogenesis?". During his research internship at the University of Sydney, he worked in a laboratory where models of the human heart were produced from donated cells. These models are used to research therapeutic approaches for heart-muscle diseases.
Heart tissue made from the "3D printer"
Florian Richter went one step further and tried to combine these models as "building blocks" for personalised heart tissue by means of 3D bioprinting, a kind of 3D printing with exclusively biocompatible materials. In this way, he succeeded in producing personalised three-dimensional heart tissue in the laboratory, and this could potentially be a new therapeutic approach for patients requiring heart transplants in the future.
Excellent research work
Even if it will still take some time until the "3D printer" can produce usable heart tissue, Florian Richter has already convinced the top-class jury of experts and the professional audience at pharmaKON, the annual meeting of the Austrian pharmaceutical industry and health care sector. For his impressive and innovative research work at the renowned University of Sydney, he received the Young Pharma Award and prize money of € 1,500.
After completing his Bachelor's degree, Florian Richter went on to complete a Master's degree in Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at the IMC FH Krems and successfully continued his research work on new therapeutic approaches for heart-muscle diseases.