Heart muscle created from embryonic stem cells

Researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have developed a heart muscle using embryonic stem cells. The work illustrates how new heart tissue could be developed to replace tissue damaged by a heart attack. Researchers have been working on finding ways to repair damaged hearts, and building replacement tissue may be the most effective approach. The scientists note that because the heart muscle is threaded with blood vessels, it would have a good chance of being transplanted successfully.

The research team created the heart muscle by seeding a plastic frame with heart muscle and blood vessel cells combined with embryonic fibroblasts. Days later patches of the heart muscle began to contract like a normal heart. Now the researchers plan to begin to transplant the tissue into animals to see how they respond to the procedure. And they also plan to see how the approach works for growing tissue for other organs, such as livers.

- here's the release on their work

ALSO: The high-flying Sir Richard Branson is creating a new bank to store umbilical blood from newborns. The blood teems with haematopoietic stem cells that are used in embryonic stem cell research and are expected to be the building blocks of future cures. Report

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