22 February 2012

Advances in Repairing Infarcted Myocardial Tissue

UCSD scientists have developed an injectable gel to reinvigorate damaged heart tissue, after a heart attack. Heart failure subsequent to myocardial infarction is a significant cause of death in adults of advanced nations. Tissue replacement and revitalisation treatments such as this, promise to add healthy years to the lives of tens of millions of people, worldwide.
Researchers claim to have developed a new injectable hydrogel which they say could be used to repair tissue damaged by heart attacks.

A team at the University of California, led by Karen Christman, hopes to bring the gel to clinical trials within the next year, the latest edition of Journal of the American College of Cardiology reported.

Therapies like the hydrogel would be a welcome development, Christman explained, since there are an estimated 785,000 new heart attack cases in the US each year, with no established treatment for repairing the resulting damage to cardiac tissue.

The hydrogel is made from cardiac connective tissue that is stripped of heart muscle cells through a cleansing process, freeze-dried and milled into powder form, and then liquefied into a fluid that can be easily injected into the heart.

Once it hits body temperature, the liquid turns into a semi-solid, porous gel that encourages cells to repopulate areas of damaged cardiac tissue and to preserve heart function, according to Christman.

The hydrogel forms a scaffold to repair the tissue and possibly provides biochemical signals that prevent further deterioration in the surrounding tissues. _HinduBusinessLine
Study abstract
Abstract of earlier study

This type of cellular replacement and tissue replacement is important if we are to be able to stretch out the useful lifetimes of genetically flawed bodies. Prevention of disease is better than treatment. Genetic re-design to reduce vulnerabilities may be best of all. Stay tuned.


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