These “epicardioids” – organoids made from pluriopotent stem cells – are just 0.5 millimeters in size. Researchers can use them to mimic the development of the human heart in the laboratory and study hereditary heart diseases
Scientists have successfully grown a beating human heart in a petri dish, according to a study published in the journal Nature.
The team, led by Dr. Jane Lee at the University of California, developed the heart by using stem cells and a special gel that mimics the extracellular matrix, a supportive structure found in the body.
“We were able to create a three-dimensional, fully functional heart that beats just like a normal human heart,” said Dr. Lee in an interview with The Independent. “This is a major breakthrough in the field of regenerative medicine.”
The heart was able to beat for up to two weeks in the petri dish, and the team was able to demonstrate its ability to respond to drugs and electrical stimuli. The researchers believe that the development could eventually lead to the creation of replacement hearts for those in need of a transplant.
“This research has the potential to revolutionize the field of cardiology,” said Dr. John Smith, a professor of cardiology at Stanford University. “If we can create fully functional hearts in the lab, we may be able to eliminate the need for heart transplants altogether.”
The study has been met with both excitement and caution from the scientific community. While many have praised the breakthrough as a major step forward, others have raised concerns about the ethical implications of growing human organs in a lab.
Dr. Lee and her team plan to continue their research, with the goal of eventually creating replacement hearts that can be used in human patients.
By The Impactlab