Researchers have developed a way to grow human heart tissue that can serve as a model for the upper chambers of the heart, known as the atria. The tissue, derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPCSs), beats, expresses genes, and responds to drugs in a manner similar to a real human atrium. The model may be useful for evaluating disease mechanisms and drugs for atrial fibrillation -- the most common type of arrhythmia.
Scientists have created a tiny, biodegradable scaffold to transplant stem cells and deliver drugs, which may help treat Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, aging brain degeneration, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries. Stem cell transplantation, which shows promise as a treatment for central nervous system diseases, has been hampered by low cell survival rates, incomplete differentiation of cells and limited growth of neural connections.