Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump sufficiently to maintain blood flow to meet the body's needs. The annual incidence approaches 10 per 1,000 population after 65 years of age, affecting people of all ages, from children and young adults to the middle-aged and the elderly. Heart failure is present in 2 percent of person's age 40 to 59 and more than 5 percent of persons age 60 to 69. In the case of heart failure that does not respond to medical treatments, hearts transplant the treatment of choice. Rejection is most likely to occur after the transplant. Patients need to take medicines for the rest their life to suppress the immune system. These medicines increase the chance for infection. Their long-term use also can increase risk for cancer and renal failure. The developing field of tissue engineering aims to regenerate damaged tissues by combining cells from the body with highly porous scaffold biomaterials, which act as templates for tissue regeneration, to guide the growth of new tissue. Engineer entire new hearts, will enable transplants without the risk of rejection by the recipient's immune system. The strategy is simple enough in principle. First we remove all the cells from animal heart then take the scaffold left behind and repopulate it with stem cells immunologically matched to the patient in need. The crippling shortage of transplantable hearts around the world may be solved.
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