Remote Control Operates Lab-Grown Heart Cells

May 22, 2018  Source: Ddu 95

Techniques have been developed by scientists allowing them to fast-pace or slow the growth of human heart cells in a dish via commands.

The heart cells are operated by Researchers from University of California San Diego School of Medicine in the US through the simple technique of shining a light and changing its intensity. The growth of the cells is facilitated through a material called graphene converting light into electricity and creating a relatively greater conducive environment than dished made from standard plastic or glass.

Graphene provides a greater degree of flexibility to allow the cells to grow at their own pace. The method could find broader use across a diverse number of clinical and research applications. Those could include conducting tests of therapeutic drugs in increasingly biologically relevant systems, development of user-specific drugs having more precise and lesser systemic impacts and the creation of improved medical devices like light-controlled pacemakers.

Heart cells were developed by researchers from donated skin cells, through an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC), an intermediary cell type. The iPSC-derived heart cells were grown on a graphene surface. A method was discovered by researchers to exert control on the amount of electricity generated by the graphene by changing the intensity of the light to which they exposed it.  

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