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Study uncovers improved stem-cell uses

ANI | Updated: Dec 20, 2018 17:21 IST

Washington (USA) Dec 20 (ANI): A faster, more cost-efficient, and more accurate method of examining the effectiveness of human pluripotent stem-cell-derived cardiac muscle cells has been discovered, according to a new study.
The study found that human embryonic stem cells can be induced to produce other types of human cells through stem cell differentiation. The researchers looked at cardiac muscle cells -- cardiomyocytes (CMs).
The aim of the research was to use these cells to treat cardiac conditions, but first, the researchers determined the cell's functionality through characterization, which involved examining that how well the cells were modified, and whether or not they are mature, functioning CMs.
The findings of the study are published in the Journal of iScience.
"CMs derived from hPSCs hold tremendous promise for cell-based therapies for heart diseases, nevertheless, current methods for CM characterization cause undesirable impacts on the cells' functionality and are expensive and time-consuming," says Xiaojun Lance Lian, a researcher.
To create this stem cell line, prior to the stem cell differentiation into CMs, the researchers used CRISPR-Cas9 to insert a calcium indicator protein called GCaMP6s into the stem cells. The GCaMP6 protein enables the stems cells to be modified into CMs that can be directly characterized by fluorescence intensity. The intensity of the fluorescence correlates with mechanical strain detected by a video microscope analysis. This analysis shows the cells' responses to cardiac drugs.
Researchers have stated that because of the many benefits of the system, the process can further contribute to improved disease modelling and drug screening for treating cardiac diseases. (ANI)