Scientists Turn Skin Cells Into Heart Muscle Cells

Posted on May 24, 2012

A team of Israeli scientists have managed to turn skin cells into healthy, new heart muscle cells that are capable of beating and integrating with existing heart tissue. The research creates the possibility of one day treating heart failure patients with their own, human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) to repair their damaged hearts.

Professor Lior Gepstein, Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) and Physiology at the Sohnis Research Laboratory for Cardiac Electrophysiology and Regenerative Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel, who led the research, says, "What is new and exciting about our research is that we have shown that it's possible to take skin cells from an elderly patient with advanced heart failure and end up with his own beating cells in a laboratory dish that are healthy and young - the equivalent to the stage of his heart cells when he was just born."

The research was published here in the European Heart Journal. ITN says trials on humans could begin within the next ten years. Take a look:

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