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A Ghost Heart?

Here’s a treat for Valentine’s Day.  Below, take a close-up look at a decellularized “ghost heart.”

 

ghost-heart

 

This heart can serve as a scaffold upon which to grow a working heart from human stem cells. Researchers at the Texas Heart Institute created it by stripping all the living cells from a pig heart with a soap solution, which bursts the cells and leaves only the protein structure behind. These scientists have successfully implanted tissue-engineered hearts into rats and pigs so far. They hope ultimately to create personalized human hearts and help relieve the shortage of donor organs.

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