Cardiomyocytes, the workhorse cells that make up the beating heart, can now be made cheaply and abundantly in the laboratory.
A team of Wisconsin scientists describes a way to transform human stem cells — both embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells — into the critical heart muscle cells by simple manipulation of one key developmental pathway. The technique promises a uniform, inexpensive and far more efficient alternative to the complex bath of serum or growth factors now used to nudge blank slate stem cells to become specialized heart cells.
“Our protocol is more efficient and robust,” explains Sean Palecek, the senior
From left to right: A normal pig heart, a pig heart after being decellularised, the pig heart prepared for recellularisation. Photos courtesy of the University of Minnesota.
In a medical first, University researchers have created a beating heart in the laboratory. Using detergents, they stripped away the cells from rat hearts until only the nonliving matrix, or “skeleton,” was left; they then repopulated the matrix with fresh heart cells.
If perfected, the technique may be used someday to generate new hearts for patients. In the United States alone, about 5 million people live with heart failure, 550,000 new cases are
Image by kevindooley via Flickr
A biodegradable tissue to repair hearts after a heart attacks or to cure congenital malformations. A tissue that acts like a porous, accordion-like medium onto which cardiac stem cells are ‘implanted’ has been created by scientists from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston (MIT). This “bioscaffolding” integrates perfectly with cardiac tissue and creates a biological “band-aid” that is slowly reabsorbed and repairs cardiac muscle.
Compared to similar previous attempts, explained George Engelmayr in “Nature Materials” magazine, the advantage of the “bioscaffolding” is that it faithfully mirrors cardiac tissue structurally and mechanically, and
Image via Wikipedia
Solving a longstanding mystery, scientists have found that the human heart continues to generate new cardiac cells throughout the life span, although the rate of new cell production slows with age.
The finding, published in the April 3 issue of Science, could open a new path for the treatment of heart diseases such as heart failure and heart attack, experts say.
“We find that the beating cells in the heart, cardiomyocytes, are renewed,” said lead researcher Dr. Jonas Frisen, a professor of stem cell research at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. “It has previously not been known whether
Stem Cell Research Trial Results for Heart Disease Patients
Dr. Amit Patel of the University of Utah is reporting that 3 out of 3 heart disease patients have improved in the initial stages of his stem cell research trial in which the cardiomyopathy patients had their own Adult Stem Cells injected back into their heart in […]