15 Sep '11, 1pm

Singapore researchers create heart cells from skin

SINGAPORE - Researchers at Singapore's National Heart Centre have developed a way to create virus-free heart cells from skin. Such heart cells - which take about two months to make - can be used to repair damaged heart tissue. Researchers said the virus-free technique removes the risk of infection and tumors developing after a heart surgery. In the future, the research team will look at the therapeutic potential of such cells including their use for cell transplant. Human trials for the treatment are expected to start in two to three years. It is targeted at patients with severe heart failure. They typically have many blocked arteries, which causes damage of the heart muscle. "They are not amenable to further treatment, and of course, the ultimate treatment for them may be a heart transplant. But... it's quite difficult to receive a heart transplant now, so the promise of ...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/Singapore/EDC110915-0001283/Si...

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