Photographs showing each step of the decellularization process.

A group of University of Pittsburgh scientists demonstrated in August that a mouse heart stripped of its own cells and repopulated with human stem cells can begin to beat again. After 20 days of perfusion, the heart tissue exhibited spontaneous contractions at a rate of 40 to 50 beats per minute and was responsive to various drugs. 

While definitely an impressive feat, more work needs to be done to make the heart contractions strong enough to pump blood effectively, and to manage the rate at which the heart speeds up and slows down. 

 

 

For more information, check out the paper published in Nature Communications.

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