Recently scientists have developed a fully functioning artificial human heart muscle patch to recover damages heart. It is specially made for patients who have suffered from heart attacks. The researchers have said, this initiative takes a major step toward the end goal of recovering dead heart muscle in human patients.
As reported by PTI, the recent test has shown that the artificial patch resembles those of a healthy adult heart and it is fully functional, with mechanical, structural and electrical properties.
The heart cannot regenerate itself after a heart attack, unlike some other human organs. This artificial heart patches could be implanted over the dead muscle and remain active for a long time. It will provide more strength for contractions and a smooth path for the heart’s electrical signals to travel through. These patches could help the recovery of damaged tissue that has not yet died as they also secrete enzymes and growth factors. However, this is the first artificial human heart patch to meet both criteria.
From human pluripotent stem cells, the cells for the heart patch are grown. The researchers have successfully scaled up the artificial heart patch to 16 square centimetres and five to eight cells thick.
A doctoral student at Duke University in the US, Ilya Shadrin said, “Right now, virtually all existing therapies are aimed at reducing the symptoms from the damage that has already been done to the heart, but no approaches have been able to replace the muscle that is lost, because once it is dead, it does not grow back on its own.”
The student also said, “This is a way that we could replace lost muscle with tissue made outside the body.”