Injectable Scaffold Gel to Spur Heart Regeneration

Researchers are here working on an injectable gel scaffold material that appears to improve regeneration of heart damage:

[Researchers have] developed a protein-rich gel that appears to help repair cardiac muscle in a pig model of myocardial infarction. The researchers delivered the hydrogel via a catheter directly into the damaged regions of the porcine heart, and showed that the product promoted cellular regeneration and improved cardiac function after a heart attack. Compared to placebo-treated animals, the pigs that received a hydrogel injection displayed a 30% increase in heart volume, a 20% improvement in heart wall movement and a 10% reduction in the amount of scar tissue scar three months out from their heart attacks.

[The researchers] developed their hydrogel by stripping muscle cells from pig hearts, leaving behind a network of proteins that naturally self-assembles into a porous and fibrous scaffold upon injection into heart tissue. They previously tested its safety and efficacy in rats, where they found increased cardiac function and no toxicity or cross-species reactivity.

Link: http://blogs.nature.com/spoonful/2013/02/injectable-gel-repairs-damage-after-heart-attack-in-pigs.html

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