Scientists have created a “patch” to restore the heart after a heart attack. The development accelerated tissue repair and improved heart function in rats and pigs – in the near future, it will probably be tested in humans. This is stated in a study by scientists from the University of North Carolina, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death worldwide. Most patients in this category suffer from cardiac ischemia, which occurs when the artery supplying blood to the heart is partially or completely blocked. If ischemia occurs for a long period of time, heart tissues lack oxygen – hypoxia, this can lead to tissue death or myocardial infarction.
Researchers are trying to accelerate the recovery of the heart after a heart attack with the help of cell therapy, but before transplantation, such cells require special storage conditions – therefore this process is very laborious and expensive.
To solve this problem, the researchers created an overlay from a cell-matrix obtained from pig myocardium, as well as artificial stromal cells of the human heart.
Tests on pigs and mice have shown that development is as effective as cell therapy — storing a “patch” before a transplant operation is easier and cheaper.
Researchers froze it for different periods – up to 28 days. Further transplantation showed that it does not lose its functions and does not cause rejection by the immune system.