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The first functional miniature human heart model was born, which can be used to study cardiovascular diseases

The first functional miniature human heart model was born, which can be used to study cardiovascular diseases

The first functional miniature human heart model was born, which can be used to study cardiovascular diseases

(Summary description)Researchers at Michigan State University have created a miniature human heart model in the laboratory for the first time. The model has all the major cardiomyocytes, chambers and vascular tissues necessary for the normal functioning of the heart.

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  • Time of issue:2020-12-22
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Researchers at Michigan State University have created a miniature human heart model in the laboratory for the first time. The model has all the major cardiomyocytes, chambers and vascular tissues necessary for the normal functioning of the heart.

 

 

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Figure|The production of cardiac organoids that simulate human early heart development under limited conditions (Source: bioRxiv)

In the United States, heart disease is the number one cause of death. Aitor Aguirre, senior author and assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Michigan State University's Institute of Quantitative Health Sciences and Engineering, said: "These tiny hearts constitute incredibly powerful models that can be more precise than ever before. To study various heart diseases."

At present, this research is published on the bioRxiv preprint under the title of "Generation of Heart Organoids Modeling Early Human Cardiac Development Under Defined Conditions".

It is reported that human heart organoids are referred to as hHOs, which are created by a new stem cell framework that mimics the developmental environment of embryos and fetuses. The first author of the study, Yonatan Israel, a graduate student in Aguirre’s laboratory, said that organoids mean "similar to organs", which are self-assembled 3D cell structures that can be largely Summarize the characteristics and structure of organs.

This research uses a bioengineering process that uses induced pluripotent stem cells (from diseased adult cells that trigger the development of an embryonic heart in a petri dish) to produce a functional mini-heart after a few weeks. These stem cells have been authorized from patients, so there are no ethical concerns.

Aguirre said: "This process allows stem cells to develop into various cell types and structures in the heart basically like in an embryo." Since the organoids follow the natural embryonic development process of the heart, the researchers studied in real time. The natural growth of the actual fetal heart.

Compared with current tissue engineering methods that are expensive, laborious, and difficult to scale, this technique can more easily create multiple hHOs at the same time. One of the main problems faced by fetal heart development and congenital heart defects research is to obtain the opportunity for heart development. Previously, researchers only used mammalian models, such as donated fetal remains and in vitro cells for research.

But this research has brought about a change in this situation. Aguirre said: "Now, we can have the best of both worlds. We can study an accurate human model without using fetal material or violating moral principles, that is, through a tiny person. Heart. This is a big step forward."

Because this heart organ can show unprecedented details of how the fetal heart develops. Aguirre said: "In the laboratory, we are currently using heart organoids to simulate congenital heart disease, which is the most common congenital defect in humans, affecting nearly 1% of newborns." "With a heart. With organoids, we can study the origin of congenital heart disease and find ways to stop its development. "Although hHO is complex, it is far from perfect. For the team, improving the final organoid is a focus of future research. Organoids are small models of the fetal heart, with representative functional and structural features. However, they are not as perfect as the human heart. This is exactly what the team is working on.

 

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