Scientists develop miniature human heart using rat heart


Scientists have developed a miniature human heart created by introducing human cells into the matrix of a whole rat heart so as to develop a test bed which can be used to confirm basic science findings and test potential new heart drugs for safety and efficacy.

For years, researchers have used the Langendorff method to remove the heart from an animal in order to introduce fluid through the aorta, the body’s largest vessel, then into the artery network of a heart. This method is also used to deliver solutions that strip away cells from the rat heart before introducing the human cells to model a human heart.

According to the latest study presented at the American Heart Association’s Basic Cardiovascular Sciences 2017 Scientific Sessions, researchers used a technique called 4-Flow cannulation, which introduces solution not just into the arteries but into the veins’ network of the heart. This system allowed the researchers to strip rat cells while preserving the lining matrix of the whole heart to repopulate with human cells.

Unlike the Langendorff perfusion, 4-Flow cannulation enabled the researchers to preserve the circulation within the entire heart to maintain the normal flow and in addition to stimulate the mechanical expansion heart chambers.

About Erica Smith 261 Articles
With several years in the medical field—both as a practitioner and an administrator—Erica has a unique perspective on the health industries. From medical technology to cancer research, she covers our health industry.

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