American biologists from Columbia University in the city of new York for the first time grown stem cells from muscle tissue with the same characteristics of the human heart.
The structure was obtained in record time, it is noted in a scientific paper published in the journal Nature.
According to the researchers, “the resulting engineered tissue is truly unprecedented in its resemblance to a functioning human tissue”, and thanks to new technology to grow its managed in just four weeks versus nine months, during which in fact the heart is formed in utero.
“The method is that the more Mature are starting cardiomyocytes ( heart muscle cells), the better. However, we found that a very “young” cells, the development of which is still plastic, will respond better to external influences that we carry to stimulate maturation,” explained one of the study”s authors.
“Germ” heart the size of about six millimeters in the developed system, known as the “organ on a chip” – miniature model of any human organ about the size of a flash drive. In addition to biochemical effects, scientists used electrical stimulation to get the growing muscle tissue to contract.
This is standard procedure. The novelty lay in the mode of flow of electrical signals the intensity of their impact has increased daily.
In the result, the grown structure is copied to the Mature, healthy heart tissue in a number of settings, in particular pattern of gene expression, sarcomere length, mitochondrial density, the presence of transverse tubules in the cell membrane, the ratio of the strength and frequency of contractions, oxidative metabolism and biochemical turnover of calcium.
Biologists note that such a precise analogue of the heart greatly enhances the testing of drugs, making them safer and more efficient. In addition, the fabric can be useful in the study of hereditary diseases of the human “motor”.
This is not the first experiment on the cultivation of the heart muscle, but the previous structure did not have the key properties of the adult human heart: they could not shrink and did not possess the characteristic structures of the tissues.