Lab-grown heart muscles transplanted into a human for first time
Surgeons report successful completion of the world’s first transplant of grown muscle fibers into a damaged area of the heart of a patient suffering from severe heart failure.
Instead of transplanting an entire organ, researchers at Osaka University used induced pluripotent stem cells from a patient’s blood sample from healthy donors. Modern medicine can return them to an embryonic state and turn them into the desired type of tissue, in this case, the fibers of the heart muscle were created.
The cells grown in this way were placed on biodegradable sheets 4-5 cm wide and 0.1 mm thick, which were transplanted onto the damaged areas of the heart of a patient with ischemic cardiomyopathy. In this disease, the organ does not function well, since its muscles receive little blood; in severe cases, a transplant is required.
After operation the transplanted leaves will dissolve, and the cells will continue to grow and secrete a protein that promotes the regeneration of blood vessels, which will improve the performance of the heart.
A team of Japanese researchers hopes this technology will help save the lives of many people, but will continue monitor the first patient for a year to assess the effectiveness of the operation and the risk of cancer, since some of the 100 million transplanted cells could potentially be malignant.
If everything goes well, then in the next three years, surgeons plan to carry out nine more similar operations on patients with the same condition..
In addition to growing new fabrics, scientists not less are successfully exploring ways to fight cancer. Recently, Korean researchers discovered protein that is able to return mutated cells back to normal.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: KYODO