‘Spare part heart’ beats in lab
A new heart was grown on a basic tissue scaffold
The stripped-out shell of a heart has been made to work again – using brand new cells planted inside it.
Scientists removed all the muscle cells in a rat heart, leaving just a "scaffold" of other tissues such as blood vessels and valves.
When the University of Minnesota team added heart cells, they quickly grew and produced a pumping action.
It is hoped the Nature Medicine study will ultimately mean human or animal hearts can be crafted for transplant.