A team of scientists from the Columbia University developed the first adult-like human heart using stem cells, an advance that would help make drug development quite faster, safer and cheaper.
This first adult-like human heart muscle as developed in just four weeks’ time in the lab from blood-derived human induced pluripotent stem cells. It is said that the team of researchers were able to shortened the timeframe from nine months to four weeks for the development of this adult-like human heart.
“Human cardiac tissues grown in the lab that displays the behaviour of native heart muscle would be transformative for biomedical research,” as explained by Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, Biomedical Engineering Professor.
Vunjak-Novakovic added, “To accomplish this goal, we forced the cultured heart muscle to go through the foetal-to-postnatal transition by an accelerated development. This was done by using early-stage iPS-CMs and increasing the frequency of electrically induced contractions, little by little, every day. The tissues responded, and displayed adult-like gene expression, remarkably organised ultrastructure, and a number of functional features seen in the mature heart muscle, after only four weeks of culture.”
As per the researchers, the longer they waited to introduce physical stimuli the less responsive the cells were, whereas the earlier they introduced the electromechanical stimuli (physical stimuli), the greater the effect would be.
Seila Selimovic, Director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) Tissue Chips program said, “The resulting engineered tissue is truly unprecedented in its similarity to functioning human tissue.” She also expressed, “The ability to develop mature cardiac tissue in such a short time is an important step in moving us closer to having reliable human tissue models for drug testing.”
Meanwhile, let’s talk about five heart-healthy foods that you can add in your diet:
1. Legumes: Ther are known as one the best heart healthy food, as they are rich in antioxidants, proteins and fibre. Moreover, a great source to get your folate requirement from and help in increasing the platelet activity.
2. Oats: Oats comprise a type of fibre that helps bind bile acids (made from cholesterol) and expel them from the body. Meaning, adding oats to your diet will help in lowering the cholesterol levels in your body.
3. Flaxseeds: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and phytoestrogens, flaxseeds help in boosting your heart’s health. To derive maximum health benefits, soak or grind flaxseeds before consuming them.
4. Nuts: Did you know that eating a handful of nuts can actually improve your heart’s health. These nuts are rich in unsaturated fats that reduce the inflammation of the arteries.
5. Berries: Berries are full of heart-healthy phytonutrients and fibre. It’s always to make a quick smoothie or sprinkle them over your breakfast cereal or ice cream.