Scientists Grow Human Heart Tissue That Beats On Its Own

Scientists Grow Human Heart Tissue That Beats On Its Own

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the world. That means maximum number of people die because of Heart diseases. A  team of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh has successfully grown human heart tissue that beats on its own. This is the first step from scientists for inching closer to manufacture an artificial, lab-grown human heart. With this technology Imagine all the lives we could save.

According to the group’s report, the grown heart is only able to survive right now in petri dish form, but the progress is promising and could lead to something much greater. The tissue itself originated from induced pluripotent stem cells, which were reprogrammed to an embryonic state before being developed into a specialized cell. In this case, the iPS cells, derived from human skin, were induced into multipotential cardiovascular progenitor (MCP) cells, which are required for the heart to function.

The researchers then took a decellularized mouse heart and repopulated it with the new MCP cells. Over the next few weeks, the human cells were able to rebuild into a functional organ that, as mentioned above, is capable of beating on its own. The territory being explored by the group is still new, but they say the heart is contracting at a rate of 40 to 50 beats per minute; it’ll need to be stronger in order to distribute blood, but initial readings are positive.

The scientists are quick to caution that they’re work is preliminary, and that more research needs to be done before this type of technique will have any practical applications. However, the discovery could pave the way for new heart disease treatment. “We hope our study would be used in the future to replace a piece of tissue damaged by a heart attack, or perhaps an entire organ, in patients with heart disease,” senior researcher Lei Yang told AFP.

“One of our next goals is to see if it’s feasible to make a patch of human heart muscle,” Yang said in a press release. “We could use patches to replace a region damaged by a heart attack. That might be easier to achieve because it won’t require as many cells as a whole human-sized organ would.”

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Write by: RC - Sunday, August 18, 2013

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