(CNet) The day that heart transplant patients no longer need to wait for a donor match just got a little closer. Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital have successfully grown functional heart tissue from stem cells created from skin cells. Their paper has been published in the journal Circulation Research.
The team's technique potentially allows heart tissue to be built with the patient's own cellular material, which reduces the need for an exact donor match, and also vastly lowers the chance of immunorejection.
It's not possible to simply grow an entire heart from cells. Organs require a scaffold to give the cells a shape. In the normal course of things, this scaffold, known as an extracellular matrix, is created from proteins secreted by the cells.
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