- Researchers have found a way to grow a human heart from stem cells.
- Scientists suggest that skin cells can be harvested from a patient to create stem cells that could, in turn, help them grow a full-sized heart.
- The breakthrough is expected to help millions of patients in dire need of heart transplants around the world.
A scientific breakthrough could turn out to be a permanent solution for a common medical dilemma. Scientists have just grown a full-sized beating heart completely out of adult stem cells. It’s a remarkable feat that could ensure every patient that requires a heart transplant will get exactly what they need.
The researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School worked together on the study that was published in Circulation Research. The scientists made use of human hearts that are not suitable for transplantation so they could come up with the scaffold of the human heart filled with blood vessels. This would serve as their foundation while they turned human skin cells into pluripotent stems cells. The stem cells were eventually turned into heart cells that were allowed to grow on the scaffold.
The study is expected to give millions of patients a second chance.
But does it work? The researchers revealed that they were able to grow hearts that begin beating when electricity is introduced. Although it is too early to test the new hearts on humans, it’s a major milestone that could improve the chances of patients in dire need of a transplant.
According to the study, there are more than 25 million individuals who have heart failure worldwide. Thousands of these patients are still waiting for heart transplantation in the United States alone. Unfortunately, there are only 2,500 hearts being transplanted every year due to the shortage of donors. In addition to that, there is a risk that the heart will be rejected by the new host body.
Millions of lives can be saved by the breakthrough.
The study could confirm that a new heart can be grown for a patient with the use of their own skin cells. This way, the patient is guaranteed a heart that will not be rejected by their body.
Although further research needs to be made, there is little doubt that the breakthrough could help millions of people in the future.
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