A Recellurization Update

Via Popular Science: "Some people say they can grow a heart from scratch in 10 years, which is ridiculous. But Dr. Taylor's approach is more realistic because it's so simple and elegant. By using an existing heart, she's taken away all of the structural issues. ...
Taylor's system involves flushing animal hearts of cells using a cleanser, at which point only the extracellular matrix remains and 'the hearts look almost clear' ... The next step is to infuse the hearts with a mix of mature and progenitor cardiac cells, which can come from a patient's own body to ensure compatibility. Incredibly, for reasons the team still doesn't understand, the cells seem to know how to divide and proliferate into cardiac tissue inside the empty-shell hearts. This year, Taylor has continued to forge ahead toward her goal of creating transplantable, made-to-order human organs. Soon after she published her rat-heart results, she started working on making recellularized pig hearts - closer in size and shape to the human equivalent - that could pump blood and generate electrical impulses. ... Our hope is that someday we'll be able to take a cadaver or pig organ, decellularize it, and transplant your own cells into the matrix to make an organ that matches your body."

Link: http://www.popsci.com/node/24069

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