Posted on Oct 21, 2009, 7 a.m.
Harvard Stem Cell Institute researchers grow working heart muscle from a newly identified human cardiac master stem cell.
Marking a significant step towards heart stem cell therapy, Kenneth Chien, from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues, have grown a strip of working heart muscle from a newly identified human cardiac master stem cell. The cells were grown on a thin layer of polymer film, on which the stem cells formed a cohesive piece of cardiac tissue, which then can be grafted to an area of dead heart muscle to restore contractability in that tissue area. While the work was achieved in an animal model, the team is confident its technique may be applicable in humans within the next five years.
Ibrahim J. Domian, Murali Chiravuri, Peter van der Meer, Adam W. Feinberg, Xi Shi, Ying Shao, Sean M. Wu, Kevin Kit Parker, and Kenneth R. Chien. “Generation of Functional Ventricular Heart Muscle from Mouse Ventricular Progenitor Cells.” Science 16 October 2009 326: 426-429 [DOI: 10.1126/science.1177350] (in Reports).