Scientists have made a man-made heart beat after deep freezing
The technology of safe isochoric freezing of living tissues is gaining momentum. Scientists from the University of California conducted another promising experiment. They managed to freeze, defrost and successfully start pulsation on a sample of artificial tissue simulating the work of a living heart.
The object of the study was the “heart on a chip” system, which is a large tissue sample grown from adult stem cells. It pulsates by analogy with the heart itself and is permeated with microfluidic channels for pumping various drugs. It turns out to be a kind of test bed on which you can simulate the behavior of the heart without the risk of damage to the real organ.
In the experiment, the artificial heart was cooled in an isochore chamber to -3 °C, and then thawed and heated to +37 °C, after 24, 48 and 72 hours in the frozen state. Tissue analysis showed that ice crystals had not formed in them, and the structure of living matter itself had practically not changed. Interestingly, in 65-80% of cases, the beating of a man-made heart resumed after defrosting on the first attempt.
Even more scientists were pleased that the test samples remained sensitive to drugs like isoproterenol, which affects the heart rate. That is, gentle freezing did not damage the main function of the heart, and this opens up incredible prospects for transplantation. For example, today in the USA they will not take a donor heart from California to Florida for any money, because just a dead piece of meat will arrive. But if it becomes possible to safely freeze the heart for 2-3 days, it will radically change the situation in the field of surgery.