The healing benefits of stem cells continue to be explored. Researchers from Shinshu University recently uncovered how to mend broken hearts — transplantation of stem cells.
The study, published in the international science journal Nature, presented how induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can be used to repair damaged heart muscle cells. As with most transplants, the proposed therapy carries the risk of the cells being identified as pathogens by the recipient’s immune system.
According to the research study, the key is a protein found on the surface of donor stem cells. There will be no problem if that protein on the donor stem cells matches those of the recipient.
As with other medical findings, though, further research is needed to control post-transplant arrhythmias. The researchers discovered that hearts with grafted cells have the tendency to beat more irregularly, warranting greater research.
Revolutionary Stem Cell Treatments
Over the years, breakthroughs in in stem cell therapies have been closely studied by doctors. Stem cell treatments have alleviated a range of illnesses including neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, and more.
The recent study on the use of stem cell therapy for heart disease shows much promise. Just a few years back, a medical research group was granted FDA approval to conduct clinical studies on the use of stem cells from babies’ own umbilical cords (tots with underdeveloped hearts) in an attempt to extend their lives.
Artificial Blood Vessels
In other news, animal testing has yielded an interesting finding on how artificial body parts – including blood vessels – can be developed. University of Minnesota researchers did just that, successfully creating artificial blood vessels that will grow along with the host, just like regular vessels.
Such advances in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine were developed to overcome present limitations of existing treatments for congenital cardiovascular defects. The also offer a ray of hope for patients with heart problems hoping for far less risk of developing complications that may arise from surgery.