Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Beating Heart for a Rat Created In Laboratory: Method May Revolutionize How Organ Tissues Are Developed
Rat heart decellularization (top three images), and during recellularization (bottom two images).
University of Minnesota researchers have created a beating heart in the laboratory.
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By using a process called whole organ decellularization, scientists from the University of Minnesota Center for Cardiovascular Repair grew functioning heart tissue by taking dead rat and pig hearts and reseeding them with a mixture of live cells.
"The idea would be to develop transplantable blood vessels or whole organs that are made from your own cells," said Doris Taylor, Ph.D., director of the Center for Cardiovascular Repair, Medtronic Bakken professor of medicine and physiology, and principal investigator of the research.
Nearly 5 million people live with heart failure, and about 550,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the United States. Approximately 50,000 United States patients die annually waiting for a donor heart.
While there have been advances in generating heart tissue in the lab, creating an entire 3-dimensional scaffold that mimics the complex cardiac architecture and intricacies, has always been a mystery, Taylor said.