Washington: Duke University bioengineers have developed a novel way of mending a broken heart - a living "heart patch" that repairs heart tissue damaged by disease.With the help of mouse embryonic stem cells, scientists designed a three-dimensional "patch" made up of heart muscle cells, known as cardiomyocytes.The new tissue exhibited the two most important attributes of heart muscle cells - the ability to contract and to conduct electrical impulses.
"The addition of fibroblasts in our experiments provided signals that we believe are present in a developing embryo," Liau said."While we were able to grow heart muscle cells that were able to contract with strength and carry electric impulses quickly, there are many other factors that need to be considered," said assistant professor Nenad Bursac. "The use of fibrin as a structural material allowed us to grow thicker, three-dimensional patches, which would be essential for the delivery of therapeutic doses of cells. One of the major challenges then would be establishing a blood vessel supply to sustain the patch," Bursac added.The results were presented during the annual scientific sessions of the Biomedical Engineering Society in Pittsburgh. ANI
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