14 January 2008

Bioartificial Heart

Researchers who have been successful recently in growing a new rat heart are very optimistic that the next step of growing new human hearts may not be too far-fetched anymore. They said that "a bioartificial heart is a theoretical alternative to transplantation or mechanical left ventricular support." [Nature Medicine, advanced online publication, 13 Jan 2008]
The researchers removed all the cells from a dead rat heart, leaving the valves and outer structure as scaffolding for new heart cells injected from newborn rats. Within two weeks, the new cells formed a new beating heart that conducted electrical impulses and pumped a small amount of blood.

With modifications, scientists should be able to grow a new human heart by taking stem cells from a patient’s bone marrow and placing them in a cadaver heart that’s been prepared as a scaffold, Dr. Taylor said in a telephone interview from her laboratory in Minneapolis. The early success "opens the door to this notion that you can make any organ: kidney, liver, lung, pancreas --- you name it and we hope we can make it," she said.

[NYTimes, 13 Jan 2008]

With the growing list of patients awaiting transplantation, this is certainly good news. Two weeks as waiting time is peanuts for those who have waited months and years, sometimes even dying without receiving any kind of help whatsoever.

4 reactions:

Svelte Rogue said...

sana nga mailipat ang bihasa sa pag kalikot sa puso ng daga sa pag kalikot sa puso ng tao. :)

Dr. Emer said...

Lo siento pero no puedo entender totalmente lo que dijiste. =)

Svelte Rogue said...

yikes naman! i don't understand ah, er... espaƱol! :) babelfish to my rescue then!

rolly said...

this is great news. Imagine one needing of an organ, waiting for a donor. It can almost be equated with wishing someone die soon.