Bioethics News

Scientists Produce Functional Heart Pacemaker Cells

December 14, 2016

(Medical Xpress) – Scientists from the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University Health Network, have developed the first functional pacemaker cells from human stem cells, paving the way for alternate, biological pacemaker therapy. Their findings, “Sinoatrial node cardiomyocytes derived from human pluripotent cells function as a biological pacemaker,” published online in Nature Biotechnology on Dec. 12, detail how human pluripotent stem cells can be coaxed in 21 days to develop into pacemaker cells, which regulate heart beats with electrical impulses. These human pacemaker cells were tested in rat hearts and were shown to function as a biological pacemaker, by activating the electrical impulses that trigger the contraction of the heart.

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