AUG 08, 2019 11:40 AM PDT

Stem Cells Improve Post Infarction Repair

WRITTEN BY: Abbie Arce

Following a heart attack, tissues within the heart are often damaged. Once damaged, the heart is incapable of regeneration of these tissues. These dead areas within the heart can strain the surrounding muscle which now has to work harder to pump adequate amounts of blood throughout the body. This stress can lead to enlargement of the heart, which can be fatal.

To address this problem, biomedical engineers have attempted to aid the heart in healing using pluripotent stem cells. Using these, scientists can grow cardiac muscle cells outside of the body. The cells are then injected into the heart near the site of tissue damage. This method has shown moderate improvement in experimental and clinical trials but is not without challenge.

Though following this procedure the left ventricle is more capable of pumping blood, results vary based on the quality of cells used. Furthermore, cells that have been damaged by the procedure do not die off once injected. Instead, they remain within the heart and are a possible source of future dysfunction.

Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have recently discovered a way to improve the quality of cells used in the procedure. When their technique was used in mouse models engraftment rates of the injected cardiomyocytes doubled. Researchers working on the project say their approach can easily be adopted in clinical settings.

Injections of this type require millions of stem cells. To get these large numbers of cells researchers often accelerate their growth. This growth acceleration is responsible for the large amounts of damaged cells found in injection preparations. These DNA-damaged cells are not suitable for transplantation and must be removed before the procedure.

In attempts to clear these damaged cells, researchers found that by activating transcription factor p53 in stem cells they could induce apoptosis within only the damaged cells. The procedure left healthy cells unharmed after which dead cells could simply be washed from the culture.

When preparations that had been rinsed of damaged cells were then injected, the engraftment rate doubled jumping from 7% to 14%. 

The above video takes a look at the laboratory process of differentiating stem cells into cardiomyocytes. 

 

Sources: CirculationThermo Fisher Scientific

About the Author
  • Abbie is an AFAA certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with an interest in all things health-science. She has recently graduated with her BS in Applied Sport and Exercise Science from Barry University in Miami. Next, she intends to earn an MPH with a focus in Epidemiology.
You May Also Like
APR 18, 2020
Cardiology
Is Good Sleep Necessary for a Healthy Heart?
APR 18, 2020
Is Good Sleep Necessary for a Healthy Heart?
Over 50 million Americans reportedly have trouble sleeping. As research is increasingly finding that having a good night ...
APR 27, 2020
Cardiology
Almost Half of College Female Athletes Have High Blood Pressure
APR 27, 2020
Almost Half of College Female Athletes Have High Blood Pressure
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) an estimated 1.13 billion people worldwide have hypertension, or high b ...
JUN 26, 2020
Cardiology
Drug for Osteoporosis Linked to Increased Risk of Adverse Cardiovascular Events
JUN 26, 2020
Drug for Osteoporosis Linked to Increased Risk of Adverse Cardiovascular Events
In a recent study done by Jonas Bovijn, MBChB, MSc, DLSHTM, of the Big Data Institute at the University of Oxford’ ...
JUL 30, 2020
Cardiology
Protecting the Heart Against Cardiotoxicity
JUL 30, 2020
Protecting the Heart Against Cardiotoxicity
Doxorubicin is a potent chemotherapy drug used for many different cancers. Unfortunately, like all chemotherapies, doxor ...
AUG 22, 2020
Cardiology
Can Playing Your Favorite Music Improve Your Physical Performance?
AUG 22, 2020
Can Playing Your Favorite Music Improve Your Physical Performance?
If you go to the gym, you will usually see people with headphones jamming out to their favorite music while exercising. ...
SEP 15, 2020
Cardiology
Dopamine Could Cause Heart Arrhythmia After Heart Failure
SEP 15, 2020
Dopamine Could Cause Heart Arrhythmia After Heart Failure
Everyone knows that friend with a tattoo of a molecule of dopamine. Usually associated with the pleasure response, it is ...
Loading Comments...