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Lab-grown heart has rhythm

Researchers transform stem cells into contracting cardiac cells

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12:13pm, August 15, 2013
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Transformed from a sample of human skin, lab-grown heart muscle cells contract spontaneously in a dish (shown). To create the heart cells, Lei Yang at the University of Pittsburgh and colleagues first converted skin cells into stem cells and then dosed the cells with a tailor-made concoction of growth factors.

The researchers then added the resulting cardiac muscle cells to the structural shell of a mouse heart that had been stripped of its own cells. The human cells transformed the shell into tissue that pulsed at 40 to 50 beats per minute. The work, reported August 13 in Nature Communications, could help researchers understand how the heart develops and may fuel future advances in the creation of custom-made organs.

Credit: Lei Yang et al

Citations

T.Y. Lu. Repopulation of decellularized mouse heart with human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiovascular progenitor cells. Nature Communications. Posted online August 13, 2013. doi:10.1038/ncomms3307. [Go to]

Further Reading

M. Rosen. Lab-grown liver raises hopes but draws criticism. Science News, Vol. 184, August 24, 2013, p.16. [Go to]


T.H. Saey. Skin cells transformed directly into neurons. Science News, Vol. 177, February 27, 2010, p. 5. [Go to]


P. Barry. Hold the embryos: Genes turn skin into stem cells. Science News, Vol. 172, November 24, 2007, p. 323. [Go to]

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