This is a ” Ghost Heart “. It has been decellularized, leaving only connective tissue. The organ can then be reseeded with a patients own cells to regenerate it so it can be transplanted without fear of tissue rejection.
This with out a doubt will be used to further medical science and there is a good chance will become an FDA approved medical procedure.
Exercise in tissue engineering, Halloween decoration, or mad scientist show piece? Take your pick…
Some people like to make their Halloween decorations from papier mache. We used raw, bleeding pig’s hearts!
Last year, we tried to decellularize some chicken hearts and gizzards atBioCurious for Halloween. This year, we tackled a full-size pig heart, with members of Counter Culture Labs, our new DIYbio group in the SF East Bay, with some help from friends at BioCurious.
Decellularization is a tissue engineering technique designed to strip out all the cells from a donor organ, leaving nothing but the connective tissue that used to hold the cells in place. This scaffold of connective tissue – called a “ghost organ” for its pale and almost translucent appearance – can then be reseeded with a patient’s own cells, with the goal of regenerating an organ that can be transplanted into the patient without fear of tissue rejection. A decellularized mouse heart regenerated with human heart precursor cells will actually start beating autonomously! Here’s some amazing videos on this work by Doris Taylor at U. Minnesota: