The transplantation of organs has a higher demand than the supply. This is because in some cases, like with heart transplants, you would need someone who just died and is a donor. This is versus kidney transplants where it is possible for a living person to donate one kidney and survive on the remaining one.
However, over in Japan, researchers might have successfully performed the world’s first implant of lab-grown heart muscles into a human being. This is a huge deal as it could mean that it could reduce the need for full heart transplants. This is because by being able to grow heart muscles in a lab, it would allow researchers to “create” hearts on demand.
This was achieved by taking adult stem cells and then reprogramming them back into their embryonic-like state. From there, the researchers were able to manipulate the cells into becoming whatever they want, which in this case they turned into heart muscle cells. In the patient that received the transplant, the patient suffers from ischemic cardiomyopathy, which in some cases would have required a heart transplant.
However, the researchers used the lab grown muscles where the hope is that it would be capable of secreting a protein that would regenerate the blood vessels. The implant seems to be successful as the patient has since been moved to the general ward, but researchers are expected to keep a close eye on the progress for a year.