In A Major Breakthrough Scientists, have Successfully Created Miniature Human Hearts From Rat Hearts Created
Before new drugs can be used on humans, they need to go through testing on animals, artificial models or both, but results don’t often carry across to humans completely. Now researchers have developed a technique to create more accurate models, by effectively turning rat hearts into miniature human hearts.
A miniature human heart created by introducing human cells into the matrix of a whole rat heart may make it easier to test potential new heart drugs for safety and efficacy, according to a preliminary study presented at the American Heart Association’s Basic Cardiovascular Sciences 2017 Scientific Sessions.
Previously the Langendorff method has been used to remove the animal’s heart so that fluid can be introduced through the aorta to the extended artery network. A solution is delivered that strips away cells from the rat heart, which is necessary before the human cells can be introduced.
To “humanize” rat hearts, the researchers first removed the organ from the animals and subjected it to a process called 4-Flow cannulation. Basically, that allows specialized fluids to be introduced into the aorta, arteries, and veins of a heart while maintaining normal flow and full circulation.
These fluids are designed to strip the rat cells right out of there, leaving the lining matrix behind to keep the overall structure intact. Human cells can then be introduced and they’ll cling to the matrix, replacing the lost rat cells and effectively creating a mini human heart.
The researchers plan to use this technique to develop human heart models for testing new drugs and treatments for safety and efficacy, which saves the trouble and inaccuracy of using animal models.
The research was recently presented at the American Heart Association’s Basic Cardiovascular Sciences 2017 Scientific Sessions conference.