Heart valve grown from stem cells

From BBC News:Heart

Heart surgeon Sir Magdi Yacoub, who led the team, said doctors could be using artificially grown heart components in transplants within three years. His researchers at Harefield hospital managed to grow tissue that works in the same way as human heart valves. Sir Magdi told the Guardian newspaper a whole heart could be produced from stem cells within 10 years. The team which spent 10 years working on the project included physicists, pharmacologists, clinicians and cellular scientists. Researchers will see their achievement as a major step towards growing entire organs for transplant. Stem cells have the potential to turn into many different types of cell. Many scientists believe it should be possible to harness the cells’ ability to grow into different tissues to repair damage and treat disease. Previously, scientists have grown tendons, cartilages and bladders, which are all less complex.

Sir Magdi, professor of cardiac surgery at Imperial College London, had been working on ways to address a shortage of donated hearts for patients. He said he hoped that soon an entire heart could be grown from stem cells.

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