Menu

Engineered Hearts Beat

Human stem cells take up residence in mouse hearts stripped of their own components, restoring some of the organs’ function.

Aug 15, 2013
Kate Yandell

WIKIMEDIA, HUGO HEIKENWAELDERMouse hearts whose own cells were replaced with human stem cells were able to beat on their own, according to a paper published earlier this week (August 13) in Nature Communications. The beating isn’t yet strong enough to pump blood, but the results are encouraging for those seeking to engineer replacement organs for transplant.

“Our engineered hearts contain about 70 percent human heart precursor cells, which provide enough mechanical force for contraction,” Lei Yang, a biomedical engineer at the University of Pittsburgh and an author of the paper, told New Scientist.

Decellurizing organs and then seeding them with new cells is a promising approach in the race to engineer tissues and organs. The strategy could eventually allow researchers to supplement the transplant organ supply with donated human organs that were not fit for use as they were, or with animal organs. Doctors could even use a patient’s own stem cells for reconstituted organs, which could help protect patients from immune rejection.

To make their engineered heart, Yang and colleagues washed the cells out of mouse hearts with detergent. They then seeded the remaining extracellular matrix with human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cardiovascular progenitor cells, which differentiated into cardiomyocytes, smooth muscle cells, and endothelial cells.

The mouse extracellular matrix helped stimulate proper differentiation and cell distribution throughout the heart, the authors said. The decellularization process left vascular channels, which gave the heart templates for building new blood vessels.

“Using our method, we could generate both muscle and vascular-like structures in the engineered heart constructs,” Yang told New Scientist.

After the cells were distributed and differentiated, the engineered hearts began to contract, though they did not beat as strongly as healthy hearts do. The reconstituted organs also lacked fibroblasts, which are ordinarily present in hearts.

November 2018

Intelligent Science

Wrapping our heads around human smarts

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

Complete Pathology Solutions: Make Every Minute Count

Complete Pathology Solutions: Make Every Minute Count

From sample collection and handling, to fixation and processing, tissue staining, and covering all your IHC and water purification needs—you can have confidence in the quality of your results with MilliporeSigma's one-stop pathology solution.

Preparing Cell Or Tissue Lysates For ELISA Kits

Preparing Cell Or Tissue Lysates For ELISA Kits

RayBiotech manufactures over 2,000 high fully validated, GMP-compliant ELISA kits. In this blog post we explain how to prepare cell or tissue lysates for ELISA Kits.

Norgen Biotek Achieves Illumina Propel Certification as a Service Provider for Next Generation Sequencing

Norgen Biotek Achieves Illumina Propel Certification as a Service Provider for Next Generation Sequencing

Norgen Biotek Corp., an innovative privately held Canadian biotechnology company focusing primarily on nucleic acid and protein stabilization and purification, as well as providing high quality services to the scientific community, today announced that it has become Propel-Certified through Illumina as a Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) service provider.

Slice® Safety Cutters for Lab Work

Slice® Safety Cutters for Lab Work

Slice cutting tools—which feature our patent-pending safety blades—meet many lab-specific requirements. Our scalpels and craft knives are well suited for delicate work, and our utility knives are good for general use.