Recently researchers have successfully grown master heart cells in a test tube and used them to significantly improve heart function in lab mice. This is an amazing achievement a promising discovery in the fight against cardiovascular disease.
Scientists everywhere have been trying to find stem cells that can be used to repair or replace damaged heart tissue. There is evidence that suggests that embryonic stem cells may allow for the creation of functional heart tissue for transplants.
The human heart is made up of three distinct cell types: cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells, and vascular smooth muscle cells. Each of these cell types plays an important part in functioning heart tissues.
One research group created the heart cells by adding a mix of growth factors and other molecules to the petrie dishes containing the stem cells at important times during the experiment. By getting the correct timing, the scientists got the cells to grow into ancestors, or “progenitors,” of the three specific heart cell types.
When the heart cells where transplanted into lab mice with simulated heart disease, their heart function improved. Researchers say their success offers hope to those aiming to develop stem cell biology techniques for the treatment of damaged human hearts.
Researchers think that individual types of heart cells could be produced by isolating particular types of progenitors.
Growing heart cells is a tremendous advancement in heart disease.