Functional heart muscle from stem cells

Organ transplants are an invaluable way of saving people’s lives when their own organs fail, but organ shortages, waiting lists, and the powerful drugs required to help recipients’ bodies accept their new parts are just some of the difficulties with existing transplant processes.

But what if there were another way of replacing organs, one that was less reliant on sourcing whole, living organs from other people’s bodies? Scientists in the US have made progress towards creating bioengineered human hearts in the lab, by regenerating a functional human heart muscle. In this case, the procedure still requires using a donated organ, but one that’s fused with cells from the recipient.