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Published on Dec 12, 2012
A painstaking effort to create a biocompatible patch to heal infant hearts is paying off at Rice University and Texas Children's Hospital.
The proof is in a petri dish in Jeffrey Jacot's lab, where a small slab of gelatinous material beats with the rhythm of a living heart.
Jacot, lead author Seokwon Pok, a postdoctoral researcher at Rice, and their tissue-engineering colleagues have published the results ofyears of effort to produce a material called a bioscaffold that could be sutured into the hearts of infants suffering from birth defects. The scaffold, seeded with living cardiac cells, is designed to support the growth of healthy new tissue. Over time, it would degrade and leave a repaired heart.