Live human heart grown in lab offers new hope to cardiac patients

April 4th, 2011 - 2:26 pm ICT by ANI  

London, April 04 (ANI): American researchers are growing human hearts in laboratories, offering hope for millions of cardiac patients.

And they believe the their artificial heart could start beating within weeks.

The experiment is a major step towards the first “grow-your-own” heart, and could pave the way for livers, lungs or kidneys to be made to order.

The organs were created by removing muscle cells from donor organs to leave behind tough hearts of connective tissue.

Researchers then injected stem cells, which multiplied and grew around the structure, eventually turning into healthy heart cells.

“The hearts are growing, and we hope they will show signs of beating within the next weeks,” the Daily Mail quoted Doris Taylor, an expert in regenerative medicine at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, as saying.

“There are many hurdles to overcome to generate a fully functioning heart, but my prediction is that it may one day be possible to grow entire organs for transplant,” Taylor added.

If new hearts could be made using a patient’s own stem cells, it is less likely they would be rejected.

In their latest study, Taylor and his team created new organs using human hearts taken from dead bodies.

“We are a long way off creating a heart for transplant, but we think we’ve opened a door to building any organ for human transplant,” he said.

The finding was presented at the American College of Cardiology’s annual conference in New Orleans.(ANI)

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