A $225m investment from pharmaceutical giant Bayer catapults BlueRock Therapeutics onto the stem cell therapy stage. BlueRock will initially focus on cardiovascular and neurological treatments. A team led by Dr. Michael Laflamme and Dr. Gordon Keller will concentrate on regenerating heart muscle for patients who have suffered a heart attack, whilst a team led by Dr. Lorenz Studer and Dr. Viviane Tabar will concentrate on restoring dopamine-producing cells in patients with Parkinson's disease .
Researchers at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany are utilizing stem cells to repair heart damage. According to the American Heart Association, heart failure, commonly caused by a heart attack, affects more than 5 million people in the United States. Since heart muscle tissue cannot regenerate after it is damaged, doctors are seeking effective approaches to introduce stem cells into the hearts of people who have suffered a heart attack.
Researchers from the University of Miami have discovered that injections of cardiac stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells can radically improve cardiac performance following a heart attack. The combination of both cell types is thought to provide a stronger and more effective treatment for patients with heart failure.
Bioengineers from the University of California, Berkeley, have utilized adult stem cells to create a network of pulsating heart cells encased in a silicon chip, effectively modeling cardiac tissue. To capture the dynamic structure and function of the heart, the scientists loaded the stem cells into a layered, 3-D scaffold to mimic the geometry of the organ and included channels on either side of the chip to act as blood vessels, thus replicating the organ’s natural exposure to nutrients and therapies.
Topics: Heart, cardiac stem cells, Heart Attack, regenerative therapies, disease-on-a-chip, blood vessels, heart disease, research, StemSave, banking your own stem cells, organs, regenerative medicine, stem cells
Researchers from Okayama University have developed a method to treat the congenital heart defect known as hypoplastic left heart syndrome [HLHS] by utilizing a specialized cardiac stem cell. In a Phase I clinical trial conducted on children suffering from HLHS, the scientists concluded that, because the young stem cells in children are more abundant and self-renewing than those in adults, intracoronary injection of stem cells is a safe and feasible approach to treating the condition.
Topics: Heart Valve, Phase III, Heart, stemsaveblog, Heart Failure, Pediatric Congenital Heart Disease, clinical trials, Debilitating Diseases, Stemcells, hypoplastic left heart syndrome, Heart Attack, autologousstemcells, heart disease
Researchers led by Eduardo Marbón of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute have developed a method to prolong the lives of patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy [DMD] through the infusion of cardiac stem cells. The stem cells reverse the loss of cardiac muscle caused by the genetic disease, preventing heart failure that would otherwise limit a patient’s life expectancy to age 25.
A team of bioengineers from Tel Aviv University is currently developing a scaffold to help regenerate heart muscle through the use of autologous stem cells. The scientists, led by Dr. Tal Dvir, aim to replace damaged cardiac tissue in heart attack patients by creating a scaffold out of collagen and gold nanoparticles, and then infusing it with the patient’s own stem cells to stimulate the rejuvenation of cardiomyocytes.
A team of scientists from the Wyss Institute, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Harvard’s Medical School, Stem Cell Institute, and School of Engineering has created a model to study and develop treatments for the genetic heart disorder Barth Syndrome by utilizing a patient’s own stem cells in conjunction with an organ-on-a-chip. The chip was outfitted with proteins to mimic the cellular environment of the heart, causing the patient’s stem cells to differentiate into diseased heart tissue. The tissue was then studied to not only determine the cause of the disease, but to treat the diseased tissue as well.
A team of researchers led by Dr. Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic [a member of StemSave’s Scientific Advisory Council has engineered a scaffold to facilitate the regeneration of heart muscle through the use of adult stem cells. In an animal model, Vunjak-Novakovic and her team created a scaffold using biodegradable chitosan and carbon nanofibers, infusing it with stem cells to provoke the regeneration of beating cardiomyocytes.
Research teams from Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and the Minneapolis Heart Institute with funding from CIRM [California Institute for Regenerative Medicine] are moving to Phase 2 Clinical Trials for a treatment that utilizes cardiac stem cells to repair severe heart damage. The treatment development was led by Eduardo Marbán, a director at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and founder of Capricor. This groundbreaking treatment involves the injection of stem cells into the coronary artery, which then migrate to the heart and promote the regrowth of healthy heart muscle.
Topics: Heart Valve, Phase III, Heart, stemsaveblog, Acute Myocardial Infarction, Heart Failure, clinical trials, Debilitating Diseases, Phase II, Stemcells, Heart Attack, autologousstemcells, heart disease