Study in a Sentence: Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the University of California used human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes to demonstrate how SARS-CoV-2 can directly infect heart cells in vitro, suggesting that cardiac-specific antiviral therapeutics should be explored.
Healthy for Humans: The most predominant indicators of COVID-19 have been respiratory symptoms, however, cardiac complications such as arrhythmias and heart failure are also widely reported. Investigators have created a human heart model to learn the mechanisms of how the virus functions, to demonstrate how the heart could also be directly affected by the virus, and to provide a cardiac-specific antiviral drug screening platform.
Redefining Research: Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes are tissue-specific cells that can be used in research and for developing and testing potential disease treatments. These cells have shown great promise as a model for studying the mechanisms of viral infections and may help in the discovery of new therapeutics to treat viral infections of the heart, including SARS-CoV-2.