Israeli researchers have unveiled a new miniature model of the human heart that they say could be a “game changer” in transforming drug testing and cardiovascular research.

The model is a self-paced, multi-chambered replica of the human heart that is no larger than a grain of rice. According to the researchers, it will revolutionize the study of the heart and its functions.

The team comprised researchers from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa; and Rehovot-based biotech company Tissue Dynamics Ltd.  They were led by Prof. Yaakov Nahmias, an award-winning biomedical engineer at The Hebrew University.

The researchers say the model can provide real-time measurements of essential parameters such as oxygen consumption and cardiac contraction, giving unprecedented insights into heart function and disease.

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