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Growing Human Hearts in a Lab Using Stem Cells

As of today, there are over 4,000 U.S. residents who hope to get a heart transplant in order to stay alive. The unfortunate reality is that the supply of hearts available for transplants is significantly lower than the demand. In a recent study that was conducted by researchers who published their findings in the Circular Research journal, there has been some progress in the challenge of meeting the growing demand for heart transplants all over the world. The findings of this study are bringing new hope to seniors with heart disease and the hourly Albuquerque caregivers who look after them.

Scientists have already successfully manufactured 3D-printed hearts with a biological composition. The organs have been synthesized with advanced 3D printers. Of course, the synthetic hearts are nothing more than artificial creations that lack actual cells and tissues that make up real hearts. Nevertheless, the 3D printing concept inspired Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School to further pursue the creation of hearts in laboratory settings. Both of these renowned institutions have ambitious plans to use stem cells to grow healthy human hearts.

The biggest challenge involving heart transplants is a natural rejection by the recipient. To solve this common problem, medical experts dream of creating hearts from stem cells that are extracted from the potential recipients.

In recent laboratory experiments, stem cells have been grown to resemble cardiac cells and tissue. The synthetic hearts were electrified and even started to beat in a rhythmic pattern. When it comes to actually generating a wholly functional human heart, the number of stem cells needed would be astronomical. A biomedical expert at MGH estimates that billions of stem cells might be required to grow a heart in a lab setting. For now, scientists and Albuquerque home care agencies remain optimistic about the future of regenerative medicine involving essential organs such as the heart.

Should your loved one require assistance recovering from cardiovascular disease, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Albuquerque. We provide comprehensive care to help seniors recover from illness or injury in the comfort of their own homes. In addition to helping seniors manage or recover from heart disease, we also provide premier Alzheimer’s, stroke, and Albuquerque dementia home care. To learn more about our services, contact us at 505-798-0800 and schedule a no-obligation consultation with a knowledgeable Care Manager.