Baltimore Sun newsletters: Sign up

University of Louisville

Hopkins researchers discover newborn rats hold secret to manufacturing human heart cells

Hopkins researchers discover newborn rats hold secret to manufacturing human heart cells

Human heart muscle cells can be created in the lab, but researchers have been unable to grow the immature cells to the point where they could be useful.

It's a conundrum that's stumped researchers in regenerative medicine.

"You cannot really use them for regeneration. You cannot even use them for disease models," said Chulan Kwon, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

But Kwon said he's discovered a solution for the problem in an unlikely place — newborn rats — and he published a study about his research last month in the journal Cell Reports.

When immature human heart cells are injected into baby rats, they match the rodents' rapid growth...

57°