POSTED: Friday, November 16, 2012 - 10:00am
UPDATED: Friday, November 16, 2012 - 10:04am
NBC News — Japanese researchers say they've developed new technology to produce 98% pure heart muscle cells from induced pluripotent stem cells, or IPS cells. IPS cells have been genetically modified to behave like embryonic stem cells and can grow into any kind of body tissue. The research team focused on the fact that heart muscle cells can not only use glucose, considered necessary to cultivate heart muscle cells, but also lactic acid as a source of energy.
They removed all glucose from their cultures and added lactic acid to confirm that almost all cells except heart muscle cells died of malnutrition in the glucose-free cultures. The team used the cultures to grow IPS cell derived heart muscle cells and succeeded in improving the purity to 98%. The new technique is expected to help create heart muscle cells more efficiently and at a lower cost. Keio University professor Keiichi Fukuda led the research team