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Heart disease: Research off the beating patch
Date:7/20/2009

t living cells onto a biodegradable, 3-dimensional scaffold in a way that not only allows them to survive, but to spontaneously beat in a coordinated fashion," says Lancaster.

In addition to demonstrating the feasibility of using a synthetic mesh as a means to deliver living heart cells into a diseased heart, the group has already shown that the patch improves left ventricular function and blood flow when implanted into damaged heart muscle in a rat model of myocardial infarction.

Dr. Goldman believes that the construct developed in his lab provides a better vehicle to introduce cells into damaged heart muscle than conventional cell transplantation techniques, in which cells are injected directly into the heart.

"I think the main reason for the disappointing results people have seen with those clinical trials is that the cells end up in an environment that is not optimal for them to thrive in. Scar tissue offers poor blood supply and weak structural support for new cells to attach, survive and grow. Our patch offers just what cardiac muscle cells need: structural support, increased blood supply and chemicals secreted by the supporting cells on the patch that help the heart muscle cells grow and function."


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Contact: Ann Cisneros
ann@u.arizona.edu
520-626-7237
University of Arizona Health Sciences Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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