Research

Special patch protects the heart from the effects of a heart attack.

Cardiovascular diseases - the maincause of death, for both men and women. Every year hundreds of thousands of people die from heart attacks and heart attacks. Survivors of a heart attack face severe heart failure. During a heart attack, the network of blood vessels that deliver blood to the heart — the coronary arteries — is obstructed due to the accumulation of cholesterol and fat deposits. Blood cannot flow to the heart, as a result of which it lacks oxygen and nutrients, which leads to tissue death.

So the survivors afterheart attacks are left with a weakened heart, and everyday tasks like lifting objects or climbing stairs become tedious or even dangerous. Repairing damaged heart tissue has proven difficult, if not impossible. However, a group of scientists from Imperial College London has created a new tool that, in their opinion, can heal a wounded heart.

How to protect the heart from being hit

Scientists have developed small "patches" ofcardiac tissue the size of a thumb — about two by three centimeters — containing up to 50 million human stem cells. They programmed stem cells to mature into working heart muscle or heart progenitor cells. Patches are sutured to the damaged area of ​​the heart, helping to pump blood and releasing chemicals to stimulate recovery and regeneration. The results of the work of scientists were presented at the conference of the British Cardiovascular Society in Manchester.

Use of stem cells for treatmenta weakened heart muscle is not a new concept. But many existing methods inject stem cells directly into the damaged tissue and, keeping in place without a “skeleton,” these cells will cleanse the heart until there is a significant tissue repair.

Scientists tested plaster work on rabbits andfound that four weeks after implantation of the patch, the left ventricle of the heart (the chamber that pumps blood into the body through the aorta) is restored without developing abnormal heart rhythms. They also found that blood vessels from the hearts of the recipients sprouted into the patch and helped nourish them, which was important for integration. Plasters began to fight spontaneously after three days, and after a month they began to imitate the mature heart tissue.

The next step is to test the safety of patches during clinical trials, and then try to use them to restore the hearts of people.

"One day we hope to add heart patchesinto a treatment that doctors can regularly offer people after a heart attack, ”says Dr. Richard Jabbur, who conducted the study. “We could prescribe one of these patches along with medicines to someone with heart failure, so that you can take a plaster from the shelf and implant it to a person.

If clinical trials heart patchshow the benefits of treating the effects of a heart attack with it; it will be a big step forward for regenerative medicine. Read here what else can be done to extend life.