Mending hearts - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Mending hearts

Promising research into patching a broken heart -- repairing damage from heart attacks or disease.

Experts at Duke University used mouse embryonic stem cells to mimic the way heart cells are developed.

In the lab, they combined the cells with "helper" cells found in natural tissues. They were able to grow heart cells that could contract and conduct electrical impulses.

The research is still in the early stages, they have to find a way to add a blood supply to cells, and they would need to speed up the development process in order for the patch to be useful.

Next, the researchers plan to test their heart patch model using non-embryonic stem cells.

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