Nanotechnology used to create heart cells

15 August 2011

Posted by Michelle Devonshire

Scientists in Singapore have discovered a way of using nanoscience to turn embryonic stem cells into heart cells.

Researchers from the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) employed nanotechnology techniques with human cells in a development that could have implications for transplantation in the future.

Using a 'decellularized' heart, they implanted the bioartificial heart back into a mouse and found the organ developed visible blood vessels.

The findings were published in the journal Biomaterials and it is hoped they could lead to the creation of bioartificial hearts and potentially xenogeneic organs for regenerative medicine in the future.

Heart disease accounted for almost one in three (31.6 per cent) of total deaths in Singapore in 2009, with a severe shortage of donor organs available to those on waiting lists.

The IBN is dedicated to "the pursuit of excellence in biomedical sciences" and provides leadership in the global field of bioengineering and nanotechnology, in addition to innovative research, technology transfer and training for scientists.

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