The scientific community is no stranger to using stem cells, which can turn into pretty much all other cells in the human body, to try and repair tissues, sometimes even organs that have sustained considerable damage.
Still, Dr. Ganghong Tian now says that, rather than toying with the stem cells in laboratory conditions, as has been the case until now, it might be possible to use them to repair damaged hearts without having to cut open a patient twice.
The specialist explains that, when operating on people who have suffered a heart attack, surgeons quite often have to remove fatty tissue before they can actually get to the organ. This fatty tissue usually contains stem cells.
According to Daily Mail, Dr. Ganghong Tian believes that, given the right tools, doctors might be able to separate the stem cells from the fatty tissue and inject them back into the patient's body while operating on the damaged heart.
Once back inside the patient's chest, these stem cells would help the heart recover faster and might even help lower the risk for future attacks and failures, the Canadian researcher believes.
The only problem is that, for the time being, separating stem cells from fatty tissue takes several hours. In order for Dr. Ganghong Tian's idea to even be worthwhile, surgeons have to be able to get their hands on the stem cells in a matter of minutes.