Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Beating Heart Created In Laboratory: Method May Revolutionize How Organ Tissues Are Developed

Date:
January 14, 2008
Source:
University of Minnesota
Summary:
Researchers have created a beating heart in the laboratory. By using a process called whole organ decellularization, scientists grew functioning heart tissue by taking dead rat and pig hearts and reseeding them with a mixture of live cells.

Rat heart decellularization (top three images), and during recellularization (bottom two images). Experiment and photos: November 2006.
Credit: Thomas Matthiesen

University of Minnesota researchers have created a beating heart in the laboratory.

Related Articles


By using a process called whole organ decellularization, scientists from the University of Minnesota Center for Cardiovascular Repair grew functioning heart tissue by taking dead rat and pig hearts and reseeding them with a mixture of live cells.

"The idea would be to develop transplantable blood vessels or whole organs that are made from your own cells," said Doris Taylor, Ph.D., director of the Center for Cardiovascular Repair, Medtronic Bakken professor of medicine and physiology, and principal investigator of the research.

Nearly 5 million people live with heart failure, and about 550,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the United States. Approximately 50,000 United States patients die annually waiting for a donor heart.

While there have been advances in generating heart tissue in the lab, creating an entire 3-dimensional scaffold that mimics the complex cardiac architecture and intricacies, has always been a mystery, Taylor said.

It seems decellularization may be a solution -- essentially using nature's platform to create a bioartifical heart, she said.

Decellularization is the process of removing all of the cells from an organ -- in this case an animal cadaver heart -- leaving only the extracellular matrix, the framework between the cells, intact.

After successfully removing all of the cells from both rat and pig hearts, researchers injected them with a mixture of progenitor cells that came from neonatal or newborn rat hearts and placed the structure in a sterile setting in the lab to grow.

The results were very promising, Taylor said. Four days after seeding the decellularized heart scaffolds with the heart cells, contractions were observed. Eight days later, the hearts were pumping.

"Take a section of this 'new heart' and slice it, and cells are back in there," Taylor said. "The cells have many of the markers we associate with the heart and seem to know how to behave like heart tissue."

"We just took nature's own building blocks to build a new organ," said Harald C. Ott, M.D., co-investigator of the study and a former research associate in the center for cardiovascular repair, who now works at Massachusetts General Hospital. "When we saw the first contractions we were speechless."

Researchers are optimistic this discovery could help increase the donor organ pool.

In general, the supply of donor organs is limited and once a heart is transplanted, individuals face life-long immunosuppression, often trading heart failure for high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney failure, Taylor said.

Researchers hope that the decellularization process could be used to make new donor organs. Because a new heart could be filled with the recipient's cells, researchers hypothesize it's much less likely to be rejected by the body. And once placed in the recipient, in theory the heart would be nourished, regulated, and regenerated similar to the heart that it replaced.

"We used immature heart cells in this version, as a proof of concept. We pretty much figured heart cells in a heart matrix had to work," Taylor said. "Going forward, our goal is to use a patient's stem cells to build a new heart."

Although heart repair was the first goal during research, decellularization shows promising potential to change how scientists think about engineering organs, Taylor said. "It opens a door to this notion that you can make any organ: kidney, liver, lung, pancreas -- you name it and we hope we can make it," she said.

Researchers of the Center for Cardiovascular Repair team were assisted in their study by researchers from the University of Minnesota Department of Biomedical Engineering, who helped analyze data.

The research will be published online in the January 13 issue of Nature Medicine. The study was funded by the Medtronic Foundation Endowment and a faculty research development grant from the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Minnesota. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Minnesota. "Beating Heart Created In Laboratory: Method May Revolutionize How Organ Tissues Are Developed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080113142205.htm>.
University of Minnesota. (2008, January 14). Beating Heart Created In Laboratory: Method May Revolutionize How Organ Tissues Are Developed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080113142205.htm
University of Minnesota. "Beating Heart Created In Laboratory: Method May Revolutionize How Organ Tissues Are Developed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080113142205.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

AP (Nov. 21, 2014) Marine Corps officials say a special operations officer left paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in Afghanistan walked using robotic leg braces in a ceremony to award him a Bronze Star. (Nov. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins