The Once and Future Heart | Dario Robleto || Radcliffe Institute | Summary and Q&A

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November 26, 2019
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Harvard University
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The Once and Future Heart | Dario Robleto || Radcliffe Institute

TL;DR

The Ghost Heart project, which involves decellularizing a heart and repopulating it with stem cells, challenges the traditional understanding of the heart as a complicated pump and raises questions about form, identity, and the relationship between the arts and sciences.

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Key Insights

  • 🥰 The Ghost Heart project challenges the traditional understanding of the heart as a mechanical pump and highlights its complex relationship between form and function.
  • 💗 The project has the potential to revolutionize organ transplantation by providing a way to grow fully transplantable artificial hearts.
  • 💗 The pulse waveforms in the exhibition raise questions about identity, form, and the relationship between the arts and sciences.

Transcript

  • Hi everybody. Good evening. My name is Jennifer Roberts. And I am a faculty member in the History of Art and Architecture at Harvard and also the Faculty Director for the Arts here at Radcliffe. Welcome to the opening celebration of our exhibition of Dario Robleto's work, Unknown and Solitary Seas-- Dreams and Emotions of the 19th Century. I'm th... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How does the Ghost Heart challenge the traditional understanding of the heart as a complicated pump?

The Ghost Heart project reveals that the heart is more than just a mechanical pump. By using the heart's own extracellular matrix as a scaffold and repopulating it with stem cells, the project demonstrates the complex relationship between form and function in the heart.

Q: What are the potential implications of the Ghost Heart project?

The Ghost Heart project has the potential to revolutionize organ transplantation by providing a way to grow fully transplantable artificial hearts. It could also lead to a better understanding of heart development and disease and potentially open up new treatment options.

Q: How does the Ghost Heart project connect with the pulse waveforms in the exhibition?

Both the Ghost Heart project and the pulse waveforms in the exhibition challenge our understanding of the heart and raise questions about form, identity, and the relationship between the arts and sciences. They both push the boundaries of materiality and invite us to reconsider the metaphors we use to describe the heart.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The Ghost Heart project involves washing the cells out of a heart, leaving behind a scaffold that retains the intricate vascular structure of the organ.

  • Stem cells are then introduced to the scaffold, and they mature and begin to act like heart cells.

  • The scaffold guides the cells, helping them organize and develop properly.

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