Mini-heart grown in the lab can pump fluid just like the real thing

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heart

The structure of a human heart has now been replicated in miniature in the laboratory

Science Photo Library/Alamy

Stem cells have been used to grow an embryonic-like “heart” that can pump fluid around a system of tiny, fluid-filled channels on a laboratory slide.

The mini-heart could allow them to explore how physical forces, such as blood flow, shape the early stages of human heart development and give new insights into congenital heart defects.

Current efforts to grow human heart tissue involve coaxing human stem cells to form spheres of heart tissue, known as organoids, …

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