Experiments in a culture dish show that chick heart cells (red) do grow in the scaffold channels (green) at densities similar to those in a living heart (UW)
The scaffold is built out of a flexible, biocompatible material with pores that support the fragile cardiac cells and allow access to blood and nutrients (UW)
Although medical advances over recent years have seen the majority of people surviving heart attacks, the damage done to the heart muscle is irreversible. As a result, most patients eventually succumb to congestive heart failure, the most common cause of death in developed countries. Stem cells offer hope for achieving what the human body can’t do: mending broken hearts. Now researchers have built a scaffold that supports the growth and integration of stem cell-derived cardiac muscles cells. The scaffold supports the growth of cardiac cells in the lab and encourages blood vessel growth in living animals.
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