Bioengineers from the University of California, Berkeley, have utilized adult stem cells to create a network of pulsating heart cells encased in a silicon chip, effectively modeling cardiac tissue. To capture the dynamic structure and function of the heart, the scientists loaded the stem cells into a layered, 3-D scaffold to mimic the geometry of the organ and included channels on either side of the chip to act as blood vessels, thus replicating the organ’s natural exposure to nutrients and therapies.
The availability of living human heart tissue presents a novel use of stem cells to improve on the cost and efficiency of pre-clinical trials. Animal models are currently the preferred subject, but key differences in the physiology and electrostatic patterns between humans and other species yield results perhaps too inaccurate to justify the billions of dollars needed to fund the trial. Not only would a heart on a chip be cost effective; it also serves as a more humanitarian and anatomically representative method to conduct the medical research that will go on to treat our families.
The University of California, Berkeley’s research is yet another example of how stem cells are influencing the outcome of treatment options. To learn more about stem cells, and how families can bank their own valuable stem cells by recovering the very powerful dental pulp stem cells during routine dental procedures; such as wisdom teeth extractions or the during the loss of baby teeth, visit StemSave or call 877-783-6728 (877-StemSave) today.
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