A ghost heart?

Originally posted on TED Blog:

Here’s a treat for Valentine’s Day (in addition to this playlist of TED Talks about love): Below, take a close-up look at a decellularized “ghost heart.” This heart can serve as a scaffold upon which to grow a working heart from human stem cells. Researchers at the Texas Heart Institute created it by stripping all the living cells from a pig heart with a soap solution, which bursts the cells and leaves only the protein structure behind. These scientists have successfully implanted tissue-engineered hearts into rats and pigs so far. They hope ultimately to create personalized human hearts and help relieve the shortage of donor organs. 

Behold, the "ghost heart." Image: Courtesy of RMR Labs, Texas Heart Institute

Behold, the “ghost heart.” Image: Courtesy of RMR Labs, Texas Heart Institute

Read much more in the new TED Book Super Cells: Building With Biology, by Nina Tandon and Mitchell Joachim. It’s available for the Kindle, Nook, and through the

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