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Working Human Hearts Regenerated From Skin Cells

A team of researchers has used  skin cells(adult) to regenerate 
functional human heart tissue, a major step forward 
in bioengineering organs.
The day that heart transplant patients no longer need to wait for a donor match 
just got a little closer. Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital have 
successfully grown functional heart tissue from stem cells created from skin cells. 
The team's technique potentially allows heart tissue to be built with the patient's 
own cellular material, which reduces the need for an exact donor match, and also 
vastly lowers the chance of immunorejection.
It's not possible to simply grow an entire heart from cells. Organs require a scaffold
 to give the cells a shape. In the normal course of things, this scaffold, known as 
an extracellular matrix, is created from proteins secreted by the cells.
"Generating functional cardiac tissue involves meeting several challenges," lead 
author Jacques Guyette said in a statement. 
"These include providing a structural scaffold that is able to support cardiac 
function, a supply of specialised cardiac cells, and a supportive environment in 
which cells can repopulate the scaffold to form mature tissue capable of handling 
complex cardiac functions."
Rather than grow these extracellular matrices, which would take time, the team 
used 73 donor hearts from the New England Organ Bank. These hearts had been
 determined unsuitable for transplantation.
To prepare the hearts, the team stripped them down to the extracellular matrix with
 a detergent solution. This removes all the living cells and leaves behind a neutral 
scaffold for the new cellular material.
To seed the matrices with cells, the team used a newer method that uses 
messenger RNA to revert the skin cells to stem cells, a more efficient technique 
than the older genetic manipulation. These pluripotent stem cells were then 
induced to grow into cardiac muscle cells.


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