Heart disease and heart failure are some of the top killers in America. Those in need of a new organ are often disappointed after the organ fails to take. After years of research and experiments, scientists have made a beating heart from stem cells.
Stem cell research has been controversial since scientists first proposed such an idea. Stem cells are a type of cell found in living organisms. These cells are often found in young tissue. Scientists have long held out that stem cells help in the regeneration of tissue.
In fact, scientists have been able to grow heart cells for a few years. Now, the hearts are finally able to beat.
A team of scientists at Harvard Medical School have made huge strides in growing organs for those in need. The team has taken an existing heart from a donor. The donated hearts were originally determined to be unsuitable for recipients. The hearts were then repurposed for medical research.
After using a solution to wash away the unwanted cells, a collagen heart is all that is left. Scientists were then able to fuse stem cells and other nutrients harvested from the recipient with the healthy heart cells. Once the heart was fully grown, an electrifying thing happens – no pun intended. The newly formed heart is jolted with electricity similar to a defibrillator. The heart then starts to beat. Scientists at Harvard were already able to complete similar feats of medical marvels on mouse organs.
The team at Harvard are not the sole researchers in the world attempting to grow working organs. Labs in Minnesota, Japan, and Pittsburgh have all been making strides towards growing a full organ for implementation.
Scientists remain hopeful that these advances will lead to growing more organs for all recipients who need them.