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A strategy to fix a broken heart
Date:8/9/2010

rofessor of pathology and bioengineering.

"The first thing that transplanted heart cells have to do is survive. And when you transition them from a culture dish to the body, initially they don't have a blood supply. So we have to promote the host blood supply as fast as possible," Murry said.

"We're very optimistic that this scaffold will help keep the muscle cells alive after implantation and will help transition them to working heart muscles," Murry said.

The scaffold is made from a jelly-like hydrogel material developed by first author, UW bioengineering doctoral student Lauran Madden. A needle is used to implant the tiny (third of a millimeter wide by 4 millimeters long) scaffold rods into the heart muscle. But the scaffold can support growth of larger clumps of heart tissue, Madden said.

The next steps will involve adjusting the scaffold degradation time so that the scaffold degrades at the same rate that cardiac cells proliferate and that blood vessels and support fibers grow in, and then implant a cell-laden scaffold into a damaged heart.

"What we have now is a really good system going in the dish, and we're working to transition it to in the body," Madden said.

Beat BioTherapeutics, a Seattle startup co-founded by Ratner, Murry and co-author Michael Laflamme, a UW assistant professor of pathology, plans to license the technology to help bring it to patients.


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Contact: Hannah Hickey
hickeyh@uw.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert  

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