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'Mini heart' created from stem cell!

Posted on Mar 30 2014 | IANS

Washington, March 30 : Taking a giant leap in tissue engineering from organ repair to organ creation, a researcher has designed a 'mini heart' to help return blood flow from veins lacking functional valves.

"We can make a new heart outside of one's own heart," said lead researcher Narine Sarvazyan, a professor of pharmacology and physiology at the George Washington University.

A rhythmically contracting cuff made of cardiac muscle cells surrounds the vein acting as a 'mini heart' to aid blood flow through venous segments.

The cuff can be made of a patient's own adult stem cells, eliminating the chance of implant rejection, the study noted.

"We are suggesting, for the first time, to use stem cells to create, rather than just repair damaged organs," Sarvazyan commented.

The novel approach of creating 'mini hearts' may help to solve chronic venous insufficiency which is one of the most pervasive diseases.

Sluggish venous blood flow is also an issue for those with diseases such as diabetes, and for those with paralysis or recovering from surgery.

The study appeared in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

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