Heart tissue grown in a lab has been able to beat on its own.
Human heart tissue grown in a lab has been able to beat on its own.
Needless to say, the scientists from the University of Pittsburg School of Medicine behind this latest development are ecstatic.
They started by incorporating a technique previously studied at the University of Minnesota called decellularization that involved flushing out cells from a rat’s heart and replacing them with new cells. The result was a beating rat heart.
The University of Pittsburg doctors used a mouse heart with human induced pluripotent stem cells and reached an equally successful outcome.
Only this time around, the resulting tissue was human.
The cells they used to replace the mouse ones that had been removed were initially taken from a person’s skin.
After that they were reprogrammed and manipulated into becoming the exact ones needed for the job.
Coming up with a technique that would allow for transplant hearts-on-demand would, of course, be a glorious eventual outcome of the research.
Even if it never gets that far, the procedure could prove to be highly valuable in the development of medications and treatments.
Next on the doctors’ to-do list is to create portions of heart tissue that could be used to repair damaged areas of the heart.