The ability to make new heart muscle from a patient's own stem cells is a dream for many cardiologists. By growing stem cells on a bed of silicon needles, researchers may have found a way to give the cells a push in the right direction.
Peidong Yang of the University of California, Berkeley and Bruce Conklin of the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease in San Francisco have succeeded in growing mouse and human stem cells that are pierced by silicon nanowires—conducting structures that could give the cells an electrical nudge to spur their development.
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