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Mini lab grown human hearts could hold cure for heart disease

Posted in Science on 26th Jun, 2014 11:20 PM by AlexMuller
The hearts are being used to test treatments for heart hypertrophy, providing insights on how to combat the disease. Hypertrophy is the number one cause of sudden death in young people. It can be a hereditary condition, but can also be induced by other diseases like diabetes, or by too much demanding exercise.
To develop different treatments, Professor Nikolai Zhelev and his team of scientists from the Scottish university grow the healthy hearts from stem cells. Next, they chemically create the conditions that trigger hypertrophy. While hearts have been grown in this way in the past, this research marks the first time that scientists have been able to cause disease in them.
As the heart becomes hypertrophic, its cells begin to grow abnormally, enlarging them to the point where the heart can no longer function. Biosensors track the paths of the molecules within the tiny hearts so that Professor Zhelev can see which ones cause hypertrophic conditions.
Then, he is able to tailor drugs to the specific molecules so that they do follow these same paths, effectively stopping the hypertrophy before it begins. Professor Zhelev is testing many different drugs with varying levels of success. Interestingly, a drug originally developed to treat cancer is also having positive results on these miniature hypertrophic hearts.

Tags: heartheart diseasehypertrophysteam cellsdiabetes

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Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-06-27
Very promising! Using stem cells to create organs and in addition to simulate a disease situation is great achievement. This type of studies would be a good tool and hopefully better option compared to animal studies Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-06-27
A number of compounds are still being developed, and those that are most effective will go through even more tests before human patients trial them.
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-06-27
This seem to be the case and many aspects of regenerative medicine are still to be perfected before any human trials start. Reply


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