A team of Japanese researchers has successfully created cardiac tissue sheets generated from human induced pluripotent stem cells, according to a study in the online British journal Scientific Reports.

The team said it is the first time iPS cells have produced an integrated cardiac tissue sheet that includes vascular cells as well as cardiac muscle cells and is close to real tissue in structure.

The stem cell team, led by Kyoto University professor Jun Yamashita, hopes the achievement will contribute to the development of new treatments for heart disease, because it has already found evidence that transplanting the sheets into mice with failing hearts improves in their cardiac condition.