Feb. 25, 2008 A method to create an artificial heart using the extracellular matrix of an actual heart that has been stripped of all cells may hold promise for its use in transplant surgery.
About 3,000 patients in the United States await a donor heart; worldwide, 22 million people live with heart failure. An artificial heart is a theoretical alternative for transplantation. Generating an artificial heart requires engineering of the cardiac architecture, appropriate cellular constituents and pump function.
Doris Taylor and colleagues removed all cells from rat hearts by bathing them with detergents. This manipulation allowed them to preserve the underlying extracellular matrix, obtaining a heart ‘scaffold’ with blood vessels, competent heart valves and intact atrial and ventricular geometry.
To mimic cardiac cell composition, the authors seeded these scaffolds with cardiac cells and maintained them in culture conditions that simulated cardiac physiology. Four days later, they observed contractions and, by day 8, their constructs could generate pump function equivalent to about 2% of adult heart function.
Although the in vivo functionality of this artificial heart has yet to be explored, this approach may hold promise for its use in transplant surgery.
Journal reference: Harald C Ott, Thomas S Matthiesen, Saik-Kia Goh, Lauren D Black, Stefan M Kren, Theoden I Netoff & Doris A Taylor. Perfusion-decellularized matrix: using nature's platform to engineer a bioartificial heart pp 213 - 221 Nature Medicine. Published online: 13 January 2008 | doi 10.1038/nm1684
Other social bookmarking and sharing tools:
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.
Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.