Technology and medical science have converged to give birth to ‘prototypes’ of all cardiovascular structures! Thanks to the researchers at the University of Michigan. They have helped engineer the prototypes of heart muscle, tri-leaflet valves, blood vessels, cell-based cardiac pumps and tissue engineered ventricles. According to them, today, it’s possible to engineer the heart piece by piece! But, they also noted, hurdles still remain before the products of this tissue engineering are ready to be implanted in patients as replacements for diseased or malformed structures. Ravi Birla, director of the University of Michigan, Artificial Heart Laboratory, and Louise Hecker, a graduate student in the University of Michigan, Department of Cell & Developmental Biology have analyzed the technologies used to engineer the heart. They’ve not just analyzed what was happening at the University of Michigan, but in other labs worldwide as well. Regenerative Medicine has just published their article under the title — Engineering the heart piece by piece: state of the art in cardiac tissue engineering.
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There can be some respite for people suffering from organ failures as tissue engineering can come to their rescue. It can make organ transplant look so easy as people with damaged organs can purchase them over the counter in a similar manner as buying medicines. One’s own organ could be re grown for replacement. Though this may look unbelievable but it is achievable. Drs Cornelia Kasper and Frank Stahl of Hannover University stated: The idea of organs one day being freely available ‘off the shelf’ is still an aspiration today. The need is great, however, and patients are of course very eager to have personalized treatment from organ designers using tissue engineering. Building block principle can be applied to the tissue culture or organ type and the differentiation could be used through appropriation growth. Probably in the future we might see a one size fits all approach and lives of millions of patients looking for organ replacement might be saved quite easily. Via allafrica