Israeli Scientists Reprogram Skin Cells into Beating Heart Tissue: Stem Cell Research Pays Off

For the first time ever, scientists have transformed normal skin cells into healthy beating heart tissue. 

Researchers based in Haifa in Israel, say they hope that the breakthrough will one day lead to new treatments for patients suffering from heart failure. 

Head of Research Professor Lior Gepstein
"We were able to demonstrate the ability to take skin cells from very sick patients with significant heart failure, heart disease, and show that cells, skin cells from these patients can be eventually differentiated to become healthy heart cells in the dish. So one can take skin cells from a very sick individual, who has very sick heart cells, to reprogram them to become induced pluripotent stem cells and then make heart cells that are healthy, that are young and resemble heart cells at the day that the patient was born."

At the moment, people with severe heart failure have to rely on mechanical devices or hope for a transplant.

However, by studying stem cells from various sources for more than a decade, researchers are hoping to capitalise on their ability to transform stem cells into a wide variety of other kinds of cell. 

Head of Research Professor Lior Gepstein
"These cells can be transplanted into hearts of animals, survive and function in synchrony with existing heart tissue. This study open the road, hopefully, to future clinical trials, in a decade or so, that will test the ability of such heart cells to repair the patient's own heart,"

There may be a lot to do before such research is transformed into an effective treatment, but Gepstein's work has been praised by experts in stem cell and cardiac medicine and it paves the way for further studies in this revolutionary area.

Recommended links:
EmunaDate: Israel's Contribution to Science and Technology
Israel Innovation - A Must See
First Time Ever - Israel is producing alternative energy harvesting system

No comments:

Yashar LaChayal

The majesty of the Western Wall

Nefesh B'Nefesh