Researchers race to heal injured hearts with adult stem cells

Boston, MA—Once a mere fantasy, the idea of growing new, healthy heart tissue to replace damaged or diseased heart muscle is inching closer to reality. Researchers are exploring several routes to grow new heart muscle, according to the January issue of the Harvard Heart Letter .

One approach uses adult stem cells found in bone marrow or the bloodstream. Injected or infused into damaged heart tissue, these stem cells can take up residence and grow into healthy heart muscle. An alternative is to use immature muscle cells taken from the thigh; when injected into the heart, they adopt the characteristics of heart cells.

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