Navigation Links
Putting the spring back in broken hearts
Date:9/23/2013

The threat from a heart attack doesn't end with the event itself. Blockage of blood flow to the heart can cause irreversible cell death and scarring. With transplants scarce, half the people who live through a heart attack die within five years. Scientists are trying to address this problem by engineering cardiac tissue to patch up damaged areas.

Now doctoral students Sharon Fleischer and Ron Feiner under the supervision of Dr. Tal Dvir of Tel Aviv University's Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology and the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology have fabricated fibers shaped like springs that allow engineered cardiac tissue to pump more like the real thing. They reported their findings in the journal Biomaterials in August.

"Until now, when scientists have tried to engineer cardiac tissue, they've used straight fibers to support the contracting cells," says Dr. Dvir. "However, these fibers prevent the contraction of the engineered tissue. What we did was mimic the spring-like fibers that promote contraction and relaxation of the heart muscle. We found that by growing tissues on these fibers, we got more functional tissues."

Springing into action

Cardiac tissue is engineered by allowing cells taken from the hearts of patients or animals to grow on a three-dimensional scaffold, which replaces the extracellular matrix, a collagen grid that naturally supports the cells in the heart. Over time, the cells come together to form a tissue that generates its own electrical impulses and expands and contracts spontaneously. The tissue can then be surgically implanted to replace damaged tissue and improve heart function in patients.

Dr. Dvir's Laboratory for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine focuses on engineering complex tissues for medical use. When it comes to the heart, the researchers are always looking for ways to build a scaffold that better replicates the extracellular matrix and so yields more functional tissue. Earlier this year, they published research on integrating gold particles into cardiac tissue to optimize electrical signaling between cells.

More recently, the researchers identified spiral-shaped collagen fibers in the extracellular matrix of rat hearts. Seeing the potential for an advance, they set out to recreate them for the first time. After fabricating the spring-like fibers using advanced techniques, they subjected them to a variety of tests.

As the researchers predicted, the spring-like fibers showed better mechanical properties than straight fibers, with especially improved elasticity. And compared to tissue engineered with straight fibers, the tissue engineered with spring-like fibers contracted with greater force and less mechanical resistance.

"These properties are very important, because we want to transplant the tissue into the human heart, which expands and contracts constantly," says Fleischer.

Saving lives

Heart disease is responsible for a third of all deaths in the United States, according to a 2013 American Heart Association report. The researchers in Dr. Dvir's lab hope that tissue engineered with spring-like fibers will help fight this epidemic, improving and prolonging the lives of millions of people.

But additional research is needed first. The researchers say the processes for fabricating the fibers and assembling them into a scaffold need to be refined. Most importantly, they say, the ability of the tissue to improve heart function after a heart attack needs to be tested in humans something they plan to do in pre-clinical and then clinical trials.


'/>"/>

Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Putting flesh on the bones of ancient fish
2. Kirk, Spock together: Putting emotion, logic into computational words
3. GSA Today: Putting time in its place
4. Putting plants online: 4 leading botanical gardens to create first online catalog of all plants
5. Journal of Control, Automation and Electrical Systems now published by Springer
6. Offspring of mothers stressed during pregnancy with a passive stress coping style more prone to obesity
7. A maternal junk food diet alters development of opioid pathway in the offspring
8. High folate gestational and post-weaning diets in Wistar rat offspring
9. Springer announces impact factor increases for journals in 2012
10. Submarine springs reveal how coral reefs respond to ocean acidification
11. Springer launches French- and Italian-language eBook collections
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/3/2017)... , April 3, 2017  Data ... precision engineering platform, detected a statistically significant ... product prior to treatment and objective response ... the potential to predict whether cancer patients ... to treatment, as well as to improve ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... 2017  higi, the health IT company that operates ... America , today announced a Series B investment ... EveryMove. The new investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s strategy ... transform population health activities through the collection and workflow ... higi collects and secures data today on behalf of ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... DUBLIN , Mar 24, 2017 Research ... Vehicle Access System Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to ... ... poised to grow at a CAGR of around 15.1% over the ... This industry report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/26/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 26, 2017 , ... ... be demonstrating its new Bioflash MailGuardtm mail security screening solution at the National ... The Bioflash MailGuard system provides a fast, highly accurate, easy to use and ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... , ... As part of the Stago EdVantage Virtual University Virtual ... in order to illuminate this clinical problem for people unfamiliar with the topic. , ... a high degree of morbidity and mortality. DIC is a confusing disorder from both ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... & Rehabilitation, P.A. , proudly announced today that acclaimed physiatrist Matthew Terzella, MD, ... on May 15, 2017. , Dr. Terzella completed his residency in Physical Medicine ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... 24, 2017  Dante Labs announced today the offer of ... (ca. $900). While American individuals have been able to access ... can access WGS below EUR 1,000. The sequencing ... genetic information to make informed decisions about disease monitoring, prevention, ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: