Lab uses skin cells to repair heart muscle
PARIS - Agence France-PresseLab scientists yesterday reported that for the first time they had taken skin cells from patients who had suffered heart failure and turned them into cells that could repair damaged cardiac muscle.
The technique has so far been tested on rats and it could take up to a decade of problem-solving before trials can go ahead on humans, the scientists cautioned.
Even so, it marks an important advance in the quest for replacement cells to treat tissue affected by disease, said the scientists who developed the technique in Israel.
The research uses a method called human-induced pluripotent stem cells, or hiPSCs, a recently-discovered source that is viewed as an exciting and less controversial research alternative to embryonic stem cells.
It is “the equivalent to the stage of his heart cells when he was just born,” said Lior Gepstein, a professor of cardiology in Israel.