News / Health

Scientists Rebuild Working Mouse Heart

FILE - A model of a human heart is shown. Scientists say they have successfully rebuilt a mouse heart using stem cells.FILE - A model of a human heart is shown. Scientists say they have successfully rebuilt a mouse heart using stem cells.
x
FILE - A model of a human heart is shown. Scientists say they have successfully rebuilt a mouse heart using stem cells.
FILE - A model of a human heart is shown. Scientists say they have successfully rebuilt a mouse heart using stem cells.

Related Articles

Hot Chocolate May Help Keep Older Brains Healthy

New study says drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day may help older brains stay sharp

Surge of Brain Activity May Explain Near-Death Experiences

Researchers say reports of near-death experiences may be grounded in science

Study Links Induced Labor and Autism Risk

Latest government data suggest one in five American women have labor induced — twice as many as in 1990
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
Scientists using human stem cells have rebuilt a working mouse heart after stripping it of all of its original cells.

A team of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine first removed all of the cells from a mouse heart, a process they say takes 10 hours. The remaining “scaffold” of the heart was then repopulated with human-induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. The iPS cells were made into multipotential cardiovascular progenitor (MCP) cells. The iPS cells were harvested from fibroblast cells from a small human skin biopsy.

“This process makes MCPs, which are precursor cells that can further differentiate into three kinds of cells the heart uses, including cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells,” said senior researcher Lei Yang, assistant professor of developmental biology at the Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “Nobody has tried using these MCPs for heart regeneration before. It turns out that the heart’s extracellular matrix – the material that is the substrate of heart scaffold – can send signals to guide the MCPs into becoming the specialized cells that are needed for proper heart function.”

Promising first step

The newly rebuilt heart began to beat at a rate of 40 to 50 beats per minute within a few weeks, the researchers said. While promising, they say more work must be done “to make the heart contract strongly enough to be able to pump blood effectively, and to rebuild the heart’s electrical conduction system correctly so that the heart rate speeds up and slows down appropriately.”

In the future, it might be possible to take a simple skin biopsy from a patient to derive personalized MCPs that can be used to seed a biologic scaffold and regenerate a replacement organ suitable for transplantation, Yang said.

“One of our next goals is to see if it’s feasible to make a patch of human heart muscle,” he added. “We could use patches to replace a region damaged by a heart attack. That might be easier to achieve because it won’t require as many cells as a whole human-sized organ would.”

In the United States, one person dies of heart disease every 34 seconds, and more than 5 million people suffer from heart failure, meaning a reduced ability to pump blood, said Yang.

“Scientists have been looking to regenerative medicine and tissue engineering approaches to find new solutions for this important problem,” Yang said. “The ability to replace a piece of tissue damaged by a heart attack, or perhaps an entire organ, could be very helpful for these patients.”

The findings were published in Nature Communications.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid