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
James Eilert went on a 20-mile bike ride the other day! Why is that amazing?
Because18 months ago, the thought of getting on a bicycle was too much exertion for the Michigan native. In 2006, at the young age of 34, James suffered a major heart attack, which damaged his heart muscle.
The heart damage left James fatigued, exhausted and short of breath. It was increasingly difficult to meet the demands of his job as an automotive engineer. He was gasping for breath and sweating all the time. His ejection fraction (EF) had sunk to 20-25%. Feeling depressed,
Scientists, including an Indian researcher, have found a previously unknown stem cell which is the real culprit behind heart attacks, a landmark finding which, they say, could revolutionize treatments for the cardiac disease.
Until now, it has been thought that vascular health problems were triggered by smooth muscle cells, but a team at the University of California in Berkeley identified a previously unknown stem cell, which causes the arteries to harden when it multiplies.
The groundbreaking work is set to completely change how heart attacks and strokes are treated, dramatically cutting the number of deaths, the researchers said.
“For the first time,