Scientists Grow First Functioning Mini Human Heart Model in the Lab

Posted on August 21, 2020

Researchers from Michigan State University announced that they have grown the first functioning mini human heart model in the laboratory. The researchers say it contains all primary heart cell types and a functioning structure of chambers and vascular tissue.

The human heart organoids were created using a novel stem cell framework that mimics the embryonic and fetal developmental environments. The heart organoids offer researchers the opportunity to study heart disease at its origin.

Yonatan Israeli, a graduate student in the Aguirre Lab and first author of the study, says in the announcement, "In the lab, we are currently using heart organoids to model congenital heart disease — the most common birth defect in humans affecting nearly 1% of the newborn population. With our heart organoids, we can study the origin of congenital heart disease and find ways to stop it."

The research paper on the study, "Generation of Heart Organoids Modeling Early Human Cardiac Development Under Defined Conditions," was published on bioRxiv.

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