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Researchers Develop Injectable Gel to Repair Damaged Hearts
Voice of America ^ | February 21, 2013 | Jessica Berman

Posted on 02/25/2013 9:31:30 PM PST by neverdem

People who suffer heart attacks are at increased risk of having a second and potentially fatal occurrence because of the damage the heart attack does to cardiac muscle tissue. Now scientists at the University of California San Diego have developed a new biomaterial - an injectable hydrogel  - that can repair the damage from heart attacks, and help promote the growth of new heart tissue.  

Millions of people around the world suffer heart attacks every year and survive. These traumatic events occur when blood supply to the heart muscles is somehow blocked, robbing them of oxygen and causing them to die. They raise the possibility of subsequent heart attacks, as well as heart failure, and a higher likelihood of death within five years.

The problem, say experts, is the development of scar tissue in the damaged cardiac muscle. Initially helpful in healing the heart, the tough scar tissue actually weakens the supportive protein scaffold, or matrix, that normally exists in the space between heart muscle cells.  This scaffold can support and promote the growth of new cells -- except when it's destroyed by post-heart attack scar tissue.  

“So we thought the best thing to deliver to the heart would be what was initially there in the first place," said Karen Christman, who is a biomedical engineer interested in tissue regeneration. "And so we developed this liquid form of this cardiac extracellular matrix that once it goes into the tissue can reassemble into that natural scaffold.”


Microscopic images of pig hearts damaged by heart attack show the growth of new heart muscle tissue (shown in red, Figure A) after treatment with an injectable hydrogel compared to a heart left untreated (Figure B, right). Image Credit: Karen Christman, UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

​​​​Christman and colleagues at the University of California San Diego made the hydrogel from a portion of pig heart tissue by first stripping it of all its cells with a detergent, revealing a feathery, translucent web of connective tissue.  This matrix was then freeze-dried and milled into a powder.  

Next, the material was liquefied and injected directly into the hearts of subject pigs who had experienced heart attacks.

When the cardiac liquid reached body temperature, Christman says, it became a semi-solid gel that formed a new scaffold in damaged areas of the heart. That encouraged new cell growth, she adds, and a more normal, less scar-prone tissue repair.  

“When we looked after three months after we had given the treatment, we found a significant increase in cardiac muscle as well as a decrease in scar tissue," she said. "And while we were hoping to see that, that was an exciting new finding since ideally after a heart attack you want to reduce as much scar as possible and get as much muscle as possible.”

Christman says she and her colleagues hope to begin human trials with this minimally-invasive heart repair technique sometime later this year in Europe. The injectable gel would again be produced from pig-heart tissue.  Porcine heart valves are frequently used to repair human hearts because they don't cause serious rejection problems in transplant recipients.  

The University of California's Karen Christman made her comments in an interview with the journal Science Translational Medicine, which published the article on the cardiac hydrogel.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Testing
KEYWORDS: cad; chd; extracellularmatrix; heart; heartdisease; heartrepair; myocardialinfarction; regenerativemedicine; scartissue; tissueengineering
Safety and Efficacy of an Injectable Extracellular Matrix Hydrogel for Treating Myocardial Infarction
1 posted on 02/25/2013 9:31:44 PM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem

If this works, imagine the lives it will save or extend. Yet, 7 minutes after posting no other responses? Sure, it’s not important like the Oscars, but still .....


2 posted on 02/25/2013 9:39:13 PM PST by EDINVA
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To: EDINVA

At twelve thirty (EST), I’m not surprised.


3 posted on 02/25/2013 9:42:39 PM PST by doc1019 (The rabbit hole that Obama is leading us down just gets deeper and deeper.)
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To: Coleus; Peach; airborne; Asphalt; Dr. Scarpetta; I'm ALL Right!; StAnDeliver; ovrtaxt; ...
FReepmail me if you want on or off my stem cell/regenerative medicine ping list.

I caught the abstract already. So I searched Extracellular Matrix Hydrogel in Google News. There were only 6 stories!

4 posted on 02/25/2013 9:43:29 PM PST by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: EDINVA

Bump

This isn’t at peak hours though, so it’ll probably need a bump early in the morning. If I can remember I’ll be happy to do it as this type of stuff interests me.


5 posted on 02/25/2013 9:43:59 PM PST by wastedyears (I'm a gamer not because I choose to have no life, but because I choose to have many.)
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To: EDINVA

This will kill a good section of the implantable CRT-D market (the market relies on studies that show the likelihood of recurrence after an initial MI and the necessity of an implantable re-sync device as a life-saving mitigation tool). Hell, we use the studies to garner reimbursement from medicare and medicaid.

Unfortunately I am strapped to this market for my livelihood right now. The hits just keep on coming...


6 posted on 02/25/2013 9:46:01 PM PST by jurroppi1
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To: neverdem

If this is successful it will be a giant step forward in cardiac rehabilitation. My nephew is a biomedical engineer and I understand little about the science. Thankfully there are many very intelligent young people.


7 posted on 02/25/2013 9:53:37 PM PST by Alaska Wolf (I)
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To: wastedyears

I’m also going to BTTT for tomorrow morning.

(you should see me get on my soapbox about the disparity of coverage at the deaths of Michael Jackson v Michael DeBakey)


8 posted on 02/25/2013 9:56:22 PM PST by EDINVA
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To: neverdem

It will be interesting to see if a repair is effective when administered years after a MI incident.


9 posted on 02/25/2013 9:57:18 PM PST by Cold Heart
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To: EDINVA

Or Princess Di and Mother Teresa.


10 posted on 02/25/2013 10:15:46 PM PST by ru4liberty
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To: neverdem
So much for a break through that older people who suffer the most heart attacks will not be able to use. Thanks to ObamaCare.
11 posted on 02/25/2013 11:01:39 PM PST by Doc91678 (Doc91678)
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To: neverdem

So much for a break through that older people who suffer the most heart attacks will not be able to use. Thanks to ObamaCare.


12 posted on 02/25/2013 11:02:34 PM PST by Doc91678 (Doc91678)
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To: Cold Heart
It will be interesting to see if a repair is effective when administered years after a MI incident.

IMHO, that's way too late. That fibrotic scar tissue will have formed by then.

13 posted on 02/25/2013 11:37:19 PM PST by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: lonevoice

Looking forward to seeing the data collected from human trials and especially, the results from long term studies. This treatment sounds very promising.


14 posted on 02/26/2013 12:08:16 AM PST by Pride in the USA
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To: neverdem

Two things:

1. That the body can even use this is amazing and just shows you how dynamically formed we are.

2. Given this story and the real miracle that American medicine is why do we have Obamacare?

Have you listened to this or read the transcript?:

http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2012/07/scott_atlas_on.html

We’ve been tricked by the Left again. My rule is go to the original source whenever available. The Left will lie about anything to get its way and they did it on health care.


15 posted on 02/26/2013 2:42:27 AM PST by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: neverdem

I wonder how this would work if it was combined with bone marrow stem cells mentioned in the article the other day.


16 posted on 02/26/2013 4:02:06 AM PST by Petruchio (Democrats are like Slinkies... Not good for anything, but it's fun pushing 'em down the stairs.)
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To: 1010RD

That link and all of the links therein should be required reading/listening for everyone. Thanks for sharing it!


17 posted on 02/26/2013 5:10:02 AM PST by jurroppi1
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To: 1010RD

BTTTFLR


18 posted on 02/26/2013 5:18:06 AM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: jurroppi1

That entire Econtalk site is a goldmine. I’m thinking of putting together a ping list. Are you interested?


19 posted on 02/26/2013 5:40:48 AM PST by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: jurroppi1

That entire Econtalk site is a goldmine. I’m thinking of putting together a ping list. Are you interested?


20 posted on 02/26/2013 6:14:29 AM PST by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: 1010RD

Absolutely, thanks for asking!


21 posted on 02/26/2013 6:42:39 AM PST by jurroppi1
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To: Pride in the USA

Thanks for the ping, otherwise I’d have missed this one.

It never ceases to amaze me that we have the capacity to create such miracles in medicine and science. Thank God that we are so fearfully and wonderfully made in His image.

If this particular development proves out during the human trials, it will be a quantum leap in the treatment and life expectancy of cardiac patients. Amazing.


22 posted on 02/26/2013 8:50:19 AM PST by lonevoice (Today I broke my personal record for most consecutive days lived)
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To: neverdem

Might also work with badly sprained ligaments...Ligaments are slow to heal due to very low blood supply going to them. A badly strained ligament is not torn in half. It has many micro-tears that heal as scar tissue so the ligament may not be as good and resilient as it once was.

Maybe this injection can help
http://getprolo.com/why_ligaments_do_not_heal_on_their_own.htm


23 posted on 02/26/2013 8:59:05 AM PST by dennisw (too much of a good thing is a bad thing --- Joe Pine)
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