Lab-grown tissue patch could fix ailing hearts

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Science  26 Apr 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6438, pp. 321
DOI: 10.1126/science.364.6438.321

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Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack. Each time, up to a billion heart muscle cells suffocate. Those lost cells never regrow, leaving almost 800,000 people a year impaired for life—if they survive at all. But one researcher believes he can patch some of those people up, literally, with a "patch" that could take the place of the cells destroyed by a heart attack. The patch, which is made of stem cells coached to become heart muscle, endothelial, and fibroblast cells, is now about the size of a poker chip and the thickness of cardboard—big and complex enough to be tested in large animals, researchers announced this month at the Experimental Biology 2019 meeting in Orlando, Florida.