December 17, 2013

Have A Heart, Really. Take This One.

The problem: More than 3,200 people are on the waiting list for a heart transplant in the United States. Some won't survive the wait. Last year, 340 died before a new heart was found.

The solution: Take a pig heart, soak it in an ingredient commonly found in shampoo and wash away the cells until you're left with a protein scaffold that is to a heart what two-by-four framing is to a house.

Then inject that ghost heart, as it's called, with hundreds of millions of blood or bone-marrow stem cells from a person who needs a heart transplant, place it in a bioreactor -- a box with artificial lungs and tubes that pump oxygen and blood into it -- and wait as the ghost heart begins to mature into a new, beating human heart.

More here.


Doom said...

I don't know. I've leaved with a heart at the end of capacity for many years before it was diagnosed. I honestly don't trust modern medicine, because if it had properly diagnosed me, back when I... believed doctors, they would have done a transplant... and I would be dead. I will wait to see if this actually comes to the market, if rejection is still a strong possibility, if you still have to initially take the medicine that makes you vulnerable to all disease so your body doesn't reject even this (some people never recover their immune systems, even from short term doses, so I've heard).

I just don't want to be a guinea pig. I don't trust them. I think they are just playing. I hope this is the one, but... I'm not holding my breath. I shouldn't complain so, but... Well... you just have to have been in my shoes. You would never trust a thing out of their mouths, and media even less.

sig94 said...

Doom - I understand your POV. Like everything else, what is gospel this morning is heresy by evening and no one will take responsibility for what happened in between.

Kid said...

Sig, I've read they are awfully close to 3D printing a new heart.