Researchers at John Hopkins have Created Mature Heart Cells Using Stem Cells
Generating mature and viable heart muscle cells from human or other animal stem cells has proven difficult for biologists.
Now, Johns Hopkins researchers report success in creating them in the laboratory by implanting stem cells taken from a healthy adult or one with a type of heart disease into newborn rat hearts.
The researchers say the host animal hearts provide the biological signals and chemistry needed by the implanted immature heart muscle cells to progress and overcome the developmental blockade that traditionally stops their growth in lab culture dishes or flasks.
In a summary of the work published Jan. 10 in Cell Reports, the researchers say their method should help advance studies of how heart disease develops, along with the development of new diagnostic tools and treatments.
The achievement is believed to be the first of it’s kind.