Cultured Muscle Sheet Used To Repair Heart

Heart muscle sheets cultured from muscle tissue taken from a patient's thigh were used to repair the patient's heart. This is believed to be the first instance in which a patient waiting for a transplant was treated using something grown from their own cells, according to medical researchers at Osaka University Hospital.


(Muscle tissue taken from thigh is cultured, used to repair heart)

The procedure was performed on a 56-year-old male suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which a weakened and enlarged heart becomes unable to pump blood efficiently. To perform the procedure, the researchers first took about 10 grams of muscle from one of the patientís thighs.

Myoblast cells (a type of muscle stem cell) were then extracted from the muscle tissue, placed in a culture solution and grown into 50-micron-thick sheets measuring about 5 centimeters (2 inches) in diameter. Several layers of myoblast sheets were then applied to the surface of the impaired heart, where they helped strengthen the muscle and restore cardiac function.

SF fans have been waiting for handy repair materials cultured from the patient's own flesh and blood for a long time. The advent of the artificially grown liver for transplantation was one of the core issues discussed by science fiction writer Larry Niven in his 1968 novel A Gift from Earth. In the novel, a distant space colony develops a dictatorial government that uses "Implementation" - the practice of gathering criminals and dissidents and then taking out their usable organs for transplants. This practice is disturbingly similar to particular aspects of the penal system in modern China, which also provides transplant organs from condemned criminals. A ship from Earth destroys this system with a shipment of artificially grown organs:

I'm sure we can offer free access to the heartbeasts and liverbeasts and so forth. For a while your colonists will have to come up to the Hospital to get treatment with the ramrobot symbiots, but eventually we can build culture tanks in Gamma and Delta and Eta."
(Read more about Larry Niven's artificially grown organs)

Via 'Heart muscle sheets' grown from thigh muscle.

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