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New ability to regrow blood vessels holds promise for treatment of heart disease
Date:2/16/2012

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Doctors have typically treated ischemia by physically opening the closed artery with a stent or surgically rerouting blood flow to the poorly perfused tissue. Both methods have limitations, however, and are not effective long-term.

The new method introduced by Baker and his research team builds off of a promising revascularization approach that, up until now, has shown limited efficacy in clinical trials for treating human disease.

The method combines a growth factor a substance capable of stimulating cellular growth, proliferation and cellular differentiation, as well as healing wounds known as fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) with a lipid-embedded receptor to enhance its activity.

A challenge for scientists and engineers, however, has been getting FGF-2 to bind with cell receptors the very molecules often found on the surface of the cell that receive chemical signals and direct activity in the cell from outside sources.

To overcome this, Baker's method embeds the growth factors in synthetic lipid-based nanoparticles containing a coreceptor known as syndecan-4. The nanoparticles containing co-receptors that, when delivered with the growth factor, enable improved cell binding so that the growth factor can direct the targeted cell to divide, proliferate and form new cells for tissue regrowth.

The incased substance was injected into rats with hindlimb ischemia and stimulated a complete recovery from the ischemia in just seven days.

"We hope this research will increase our understanding of how tissues become resistant to revascularization therapies and may lead to more effective treatments for this widespread and debilitating disease," said Baker, who was recognized last year with the National Institutes of Health Director's New Innovator Award.

Designed to support unusually creative new investigators with highly innovative research ideas at an early stage of their career, the award provides Ba
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Contact: Melissa Mixon
melissa.mixon@austin.utexas.edu
512-471-2129
University of Texas at Austin
Source:Eurekalert

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