Researchers at the Bristol School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine are using anchor proteins to guide and keep stem cells in an affected area of the heart to maximize the efficiency of regenerative treatments. The researchers analyzed a protein called adhesin, which is known to locate and attach itself to heart tissue, and they used this property to help attract stem cells to the heart to repair damaged muscle that results from a heart attack or heart disease. The researchers used the adhesin model and created a protein that was on the surface of stem cells and helped guide them directly to heart tissue.
Topics: heart repair
Researchers at Imperial College London have created a stem cell patch that pulses like normal heart muscle and is used to make repairs following heart attacks. Heart attacks occur when a blockage due to a clot in a blood vessel restricts blood flow to the heart, and this causes damage to the cardiac muscle, since it is without oxygen for a prolonged period of time. These patches are revolutionary in that they can pulse and contract as heart muscle constantly does. The patch is said to not only support damaged muscles but also help the heart pump more efficiently. This is essential since the muscle damage that occurs as a result of heart attacks often leads to heart failure.
Researchers at Penn State University, led by Xiaojun Lance Lian, have developed a method to regenerate the surface of a human heart utilizing stem cells. Prior to this advance, researchers could only differentiate stem cells into the middle layer of the heart [myocardium]. By activating the Wnt pathway the researchers were able to direct the stem cells to become the outside layer of the heart [epicardium], bringing researchers one step closer to regenerating an entire heart wall.