Toronto, Canada (Web Desk): A team of scientists at York University have successfully created 3D heart cells that are able to beat in synchronization with existing heart cells.

Previously, most 2D and 3D heart tissues required medical aid to beat and grow at the same time as natural heart tissue. The researchers sought to simulate organs for drug testing or to possibly grow replacement organs.

The research team, York University professor Muhammad Yousaf and three students discovered a new method of sticking three types of heart tissue together that will beat in synchronisation with natural heart cells. The team believes this is the first time this has been done.

Professor Yousaf said, "This breakthrough will allow better and earlier drug testing, and potentially eliminate harmful or toxic medications sooner."

The substance that helped bind the cells together, called ViaGlue, also provides new tools for researchers to create and test 3D cardiac tissue in labs to study heart diseases and transplant issues.

Dmitry Rogozhnikov, a chemistry PhD student who was on the research team said, "Making in-vitro 3D cardiac tissue has long presented a challenge to scientists because of the high density of cells and muscularity of the heart."

Statistics Canada showed that approximately 2.4 million Canadians over age 20 suffer from heart disease, and it is the leading cause of death in the country.