A team of scientists from Pennsylvania State University reported that they were able to regenerate the cells of the outer wall of the heart muscle using stem cells. Thanks to this, in the future it will be possible to replace tissues damaged by heart attacks and genetic defects.
Building on previous research on the so-called Wnt signaling pathway that regulates cell development, scientists have found that certain chemicals convert cardiac stem cells into myocardial cells, which make up the three layers of heart muscle. After which they are transformed into the epicardium - the outer cell layer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is a heart attack every 43 seconds in the United States, the main cause of which is blockage of blood vessels, which can lead to irreversible death of heart muscle cells. Scientists believe that epicardial cells transplanted to a patient will be able to completely restore the damaged area of the heart.
The team intends to continue their research. Their ultimate goal is the ability to restore the affected areas of the heart anywhere.