CHICAGO (WLS) -- 3-D printing could change the lives of heart patients after a company based in Chicago announced they've created a mini-heart made with a 3D printer.
"We are recreating the circumstances outside the body that mother nature took millions of years to perfect inside the body," said BIOLIFE4D CEO Steve Morris.
Earlier this year, an Israeli company announce they made a 3D engineered heart model, but Morris said BIOLIFE4D created a bio-engineered heart in the spring, as well as applied for a patent.
"Ours has valves and ventricles and chambers, it actual has all of the things the heart needs to actually function," Morris said.
While BIOLIFE4D is based in Illinois, its scientists work out of a lab in Houston, Texas.
Now the scientists who made the mini heart, which is the size of a cherry, will refine the hearts function and eventually increase the size. The idea is to eventually have the 3D engineered hearts made from the patient's blood and custom made for the patient's needs.
"Because it's made of the patients own cells they won't reject the bioengineered organ and [we'll] be closer to a cure," Morris said.
Bioengineered 3-D printed mini heart could change lives of heart disease patients