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For the first time in history, laboratory-grown heart muscle cells transplanted into humans

Scientists from the Japanese University of Osaka reported successful and unique transplantation. They decided to treat the patient's heart, but instead of organ transplantation, they completely used laboratory-grown heart muscle cells.

On the damaged areas of the human heart, they placed decomposable sheets (0.1 mm thick and 4-5 cm long), which contained cells of the heart muscle. They were grown from induced pluripotent stem cells. These are cells that are taken from various tissues, and then reprogrammed using genetic engineering methods.

A patient who has a new heart muscle transplant suffers from ischemic cardiomyopathy. Usually this disease requires a complete organ transplant. But scientists hope that muscle cells will secrete a protein that will help restore blood vessels and improve heart function.

Professor Yoshiki Sawa during a press conference. Photo: KYODO

The patient's condition will be monitored over the next year. Over the next three years, they plan to repeat the transplantation on another nine patients.

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