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A New Heart Grown from Stem Cells

Sandra VoglreiterAugust 5, 2013

Researchers in Heidelberg are trying to engineer human hearts for transplanting. To head off the risk of organ rejection, they hope to build it using stem cells from the future recipient.

Herztransplantation in der Schweiz Die Ärzte verfolgen am 29. Januar 2004 im Inselspital in einem Operationssaal die Lebensfunktionen ihres Patienten auf dem Elektrokardiogramm. Nach der Transplantation muss das Spenderherz seine Funktion wieder aufnehmen. Foto: Gaetan Bally +++(c) dpa - Report+++
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/dpaweb

The scaffold the cells are to grow on is taken from a pig's heart. But the researchers caution that decades may pass before they produce a functioning human heart. Should the new method prove successful, it would be used primarily to create replacement organs for the lungs, liver or kidneys.