She heals hearts…and makes them

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“It opens a door to this notion that you can make any organ: kidney, liver, lung, pancreas—you name it and we hope we can make it.”

Photo courtesy of the Center for Cardiovascular Repair

On any given day, there are about 4,000 people in this country waiting for a heart transplant. During the course of a year, however, there are only about 2,000 hearts available for transplantation. Even those patients who are lucky enough to receive a transplant organ must take special drugs to keep their body from rejecting the foreign tissue. If a recipient’s organ rejection becomes chronic, they may eventually have to wait for yet another donor organ. And unfortunately, many people die while waiting for donor organs.

To be a prefect match for a recipient, a transplant organ would have to be grown from his or her own tissue. As strange as it might sound, Dr. Doris Taylor, Ph.D., of the Center for Cardiovascular Repair, and her team at the University of Minnesota may have discovered how to do just that.

Take a look at Dr. Taylor's page at the U of M Stem Cell Institute for a cool video of the new process in action.