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First Ever Lab-Grown Heart Muscle Transplant Successfully Carried Out In Japan

Date: 31.1.2020 

Scientists from Osaka University in Japan has successfully completed the world's first transplant of lab-grown heart muscle tissues.

Kredit: Ps1415 / Wikimedia Commons.The first-of-its-kind surgery was carried out on a patient in Osaka earlier this month, the researchers announced at a news conference on Monday, according to Japanese news agency Jiji Press.

While it’s still relatively early days for the treatment, it’s hoped it could be an accessible alternative to full heart transplants in the not too distant future.

The clinical trial used induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) – a kind of “master cell” that can turn into any cell type – derived from healthy donors’ blood cells. The iPS were then used in the large scale production of cardiomyocytes, cells that make up the heart muscle and help it contract. Millions of iPS-derived cardiomyocytes were applied onto a degradable sheet, just 0.1 millimeters thick, that was then transplanted onto the patient’s damaged heart tissue.

The patient suffered from severe ischemic cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart muscle is weakened as a result of a heart attack or coronary artery disease. After the new cardiomyocyte sheet is transplanted onto the damaged heart, the cells will continue to grow and help to regenerate blood vessels, eventually allowing the heart to beat like its old self, while the sheet itself degrades.





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