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Functional heart muscle regenerated in decellularized human hearts

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers have taken some initial steps toward the creation of bioengineered human hearts using donor hearts stripped of components that would generate an immune response and cardiac muscle cells generated from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which could come from a potential recipient. The investigators described their accomplishments – which include developing an automated bioreactor system capable of supporting a whole human heart during the recellularization process — earlier this year in Circulation Research.

Partially Recellularized Heart Scaffold in Bioreactor
A partially recellularized human whole-heart cardiac scaffold, reseeded with human cardiomyocytes derived from induced pluripotent stem cells, being cultured in a bioreactor that delivers a nutrient solution and replicates some of the environmental conditions around a living heart.
Credit: Bernhard Jank, MD, Ott Lab, Center for Regenerative Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital