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Stem cell researchers have a lot of big dreams, and one is to someday regenerate damaged hearts. That is still many years away from becoming a commercial reality, if ever, but a few University of Washington scientists have formed a new company that hopes to make cells that can replace pacemakers, and someday rebuild damaged heart tissue that people are left with after heart attacks.
The company, Bellevue, WA-based Beat BioTherapeutics, is the brainchild of Chuck Murry and Michael Laflamme, a pair of UW stem cell researchers, and UW bioengineering professor Buddy Ratner. It has roots in about
Stem cell therapy can regenerate heart muscle in primates, according to a University of Washington study.
The scientists on this and related projects are seeking way to repair hearts weakened by myocardial infarctions.
This all-too-common type of heart attack blocks a major artery and deprives heart muscle of oxygen.
People who survive a severe episode often continue their lives in poor health because their hearts no longer work properly. The researchers hope eventually to restore such failing hearts to normal function.
Their approach uses heart cells created from human embryonic stem cells
The researchers tested the possibility of producing enough of these cardiac muscle