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Stem cells could improve heart disease treatment

Stem cells could improve heart disease treatment
31st May 2012

A new technique may transform the treatment of heart conditions in the future.

Using stem cells, both embryonic and induced pluripotent, scientists were able to create the cardiomyocytes that make up a beating heart in an efficient and inexpensive way.

The team from the University of Wisconsin-Madison turned the stem cells into heart cells with a simple manipulation, which is far simpler than the complex concoctions currently used for the same process.

Furthermore, the new method creates more heart cells of a usable quality.

"We have been able to reliably generate greater than 80 per cent cardiomyocytes in the final population while other methods produce about 30 per cent cardiomyocytes with high batch-to-batch variability," said Sean Palecek, the senior author of the new report and professor of chemical and biological engineering at the university.

The ability to produce heart cells means that scientist will be able to accurately create and treat heart diseases in the lab, paving the way for future treatments

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