Recently, scientists had used stem cells to grow human heart tissue that contracted spontaneously in a petri dish, marking progress in the quest to manufacture transplant organs.
The University of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, team used induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells generated from human skin cells to create precursor heart cells called MCPs. These cells are mature human cells “reprogrammed” into a versatile and primitive state from which they can be prompted to develop into any kind of cell of the body.
Stem Cell Treatment Cures Blindness
The stem cells have produced another scientific “miracle”, this time allowing a blind man to see with nearly perfect vision. Primitive heart cells created in this way were attached to a mouse heart “scaffold” from which the researchers had removed all mouse heart cells. The scaffold is a network of non-living tissue composed of proteins and carbohydrates to which cells adhere and grow on.
The precursor cells grew, placed on the 3D scaffold, and developed into heart muscle and after 20 days of blood supply the reconstructed mouse organ began contracting again at the rate of 40 to 50 beats per minute.
Scientists are founding ways to make the heart contract strongly enough to pump blood effectively and to rebuild the heart’s electrical conduction system.
Most Amazing Medical Breakthrough
World Health Organization presented a report according to which, an estimated 17 million people die of cardiovascular ailments every year and most of them from heart disease, due to a shortage of donor organs, end-stage heart failure is irreversible and more than half of patients with heart disease do not benefit from drugs.
According to researchers heart tissue engineering holds a great promise based on the reconstruction of patient-specific cardiac muscle.
Recently, scientists in Japan said they had grown functional human liver tissue from stem cells in a similar process. The Creating lab-grown tissue to replenish organs damaged by accident or disease is a Holy Grail for the pioneering field of stem cell research.
A few years ago when iPS cells were created the only way to obtain stem cells was to harvest them from human embryos. It was controversial because it required the destruction of the embryo; a process to which religious conservatives and others object.