Scientists have harnessed the use of 3D printing in order to create a silicone heart that works just like a human’s.

Different from the current existing artificial hearts, the new model is hollow and soft. The most important impact of this characteristic is that scientists can then create internal mechanisms that are actually capable of replacing muscular movements and pumping blood just like a regular human heart.

The scientist that invented this material is Nicholas Kors, a doctorate student in the Switzerland Federal Institute of Technology. According to Mr. Kors, this design is a relatively simple model, but with a very complex internal structure.

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In trials, the organ was capable of pumping a liquid similar to human blood, but the material could only resist up to 3,000 beats, which would equate to half an hour of bodily function. After that, the material has trouble keeping pressure.

Kors, however, says that the trials are still a reason to celebrate.

“We were very positively surprised with the tests, this indicates a new direction on the development of artificial hearts,” said the professor, according to Globo.

The next step for the researchers is to strengthen the material and performance in order to make the function last longer so they can eventually be used as an assistant between a failing human human and transplant replacement. If perfected, the design could save thousands of lives in the future.

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