At the Vienna University of Technology substances have been developed which allow to create fully functional heart cells.
Grazed skin grows back quickly, dead heart tissue does not. This is why a cardiac arrest often leads to severe long term problems. At the Vienna University of Technology, chemical substances have been developed, which turn the body’s own progenitor cells into functioning, beating heart cells. This discovery could open the door to a new kind of regenerative medicine.
Beating Heart Cells in the Lab
Embryonic stem cells can develop into any kind of tissue. Adult stem cells can still turn into different kinds of cells, but their differentiation potential is significantly reduced. “The mechanisms influencing the differentiation of stem cells into tissues are still far from being understood”, says Professor Marko Mihovilovic (Vienna University of Technology). However, his research group has now managed to synthesize substances which control the differentiation process. Progenitor cells can be turned into heart cells, which eventually start beating in the petri dish.
“Various substances are known to influence the development of heart tissue. We have systematically synthesized and tested substances with cardiogenic potential”, says Thomas Lindner, PhD-student at the Vienna University of Technology. The tailored chemicals are then tested on the progenitor cells of mice at the Medical University of Vienna. “The new triazine derivatives we are using are much more efficient at turning the stem cells into heart cells then any other substances ever tested before”, says Marko Mihovilovic. The team at the Vienna University of Technology has already patented the new method.
The Latest Streaming News: Functional heart cells updated minute-by-minute
Bookmark this page and come back often