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American Heart Association 2008 Wrap-Up Report: Top Research Advances Include Studies That Influence Medical Care, Apply Science To 'Real World' Communities
Date:1/21/2009

an Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2008.

Funding: Supported by AstraZeneca

8. A platform for new hearts.

Perfusion-decellularized matrix: using nature's platform to engineer a bioartificial heart

In patients with very severe heart failure, mechanical artificial hearts are of substantial benefit. However, their limitations provide the background for the much greater potential of new biologic, or "bioartificial" hearts, in which the pumping is done by actual heart muscle, rather than metal and plastic. There are multiple problems to be solved before new hearts can be grown for patients dying from heart failure, but one hurdle was overcome this year. In a study using a rat model, researchers demonstrated that it is possible to create a functioning bioartificial heart using a matrix from which cells had been removed as a platform in which new immuno-compatible cardiac cells could survive and function.

Source: Nature Medicine, Jan. 13, 2008; Nature Med. 2008; 14: 213-21. www.nature.com/nm

Funding: This study was supported by a Faculty Research Development Grant to H.C.O. and D.A.T. from the Academic Health Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and by funding from the Center for Cardiovascular Repair, University of Minnesota, and the Medtronic Foundation to D.A.T.

9. The building blocks of new hearts

Human cardiovascular progenitor cells develop from a KDR1 embryonic-stem-cell-derived population

To grow a new heart, it is necessary to have not only heart muscle cells, but also endothelial cells to line the inside of the heart as well as cells that develop into blood vessels. This year it was demonstrated that all three kinds of cells can be derived from a common cardiovascular progenitor
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