[Source: University of Arizona Communications] – It is an amazing sight: What looks like a tiny beating heart is actually a piece of synthetic, gauze-like mesh, barely the size of a fingernail, floating in a Petri dish. And yet it keeps squeezing away, nice and rhythmically.
Researchers at The University of Arizona’s Sarver Heart Center and the Southern Arizona Veterans Administration Health Care System (SAVAHCS) have come a step closer to repairing hearts damaged by a heart attack or weakened by chronic heart failure.
“We have developed a delivery system that allows us to introduce living, healthy heart muscle cells into damaged areas of the heart in a way that is much more efficient than the conventionally practiced method of injecting cells into heart tissue,” says study leader Steve Goldman, MD.
Unlike most existing approaches, in which cardiac cells with no supporting structure are injected into heart tissue, Goldman’s group uses a patch (Theregen Inc. San Francisco) made from microscopically thin fibers that serve as a scaffold to which the cells can adhere.
For more information: Research Off the Beating Patch