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Can We Heal A Broken Heart With Cells?

Authors
  • Spasojevic, Ana1
  • Ruel, Marc1
  • Suuronen, Erik J.1
  • Alarcon, Emilio I.1, 2
  • 1 Division of Cardiac Surgery, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Ottawa, ON , (Canada)
  • 2 Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON , (Canada)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Frontiers for Young Minds
Publisher
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Jul 06, 2022
Volume
10
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3389/frym.2022.746884
Source
Frontiers
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Human Health
  • Core Concept
License
Green

Abstract

Cardiomyocytes are the muscle cells that make the heart beat, pump oxygen, and deliver nutrient-rich blood throughout the human body. During a heart attack, the blood supply to the heart is interrupted. Cardiomyocytes then die and are replaced by scar tissue that can no longer contract. As a result, the heart is weakened and may beat abnormally. For many years, researchers have been searching for a way to replace damaged cardiomyocytes with new ones. Stem cells are master cells that grow and divide rapidly. They may be ideal for repairing organs and tissues because they can turn into many different cell types, including cardiomyocytes. Among other medical therapies, stem cells have been used to develop the cardiac patch, a heart “band-aid” that can regenerate damaged heart muscle. In this article, we will discuss the advantages and limitations of using stem cells for repairing a “broken heart.”

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