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    Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
    Department of Human Structure and Repair
    Medical Cell Biology
    Corneel Heymanslaan, 10, 9000 Gent, Belgium
    Differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into functional cardiomyocytes and study of different genetic heart diseases with the help of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology. Dysfunction of the myocardium may result from complicated interactions between various cell types, thus more complex heart models are needed. Our objective is to mimic this interaction by creating 3D co-culture of all cell types that make up the heart, including the fibroblasts that synthesize the ECM, to gain a deeper understanding of this interaction. Cellular agriculture is a promising avenue for sustainably contributing to the growing food demand. In this respect, cultured or in vitro meat receives increasing attention. Yet, there is currently no scientific evidence that animal myofibers equivalent to meat as a nutrient dense, highly structured food, can be made in vitro. With several collaborators we address several existing hurdles. A major challenge is to obtain a suitable cell type capable of both sufficient proliferation and robust differentiation.

Prof. Jolanda van Hengel is heading the medical cell biology group. Her group focuses on the in vitro engineering of functional myocardium that mimics human heart tissue for analysis of myocardial function. Also her group tries to obtain a suitable stem cell type for in vitro meat production.

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