Recent research conducted on rodents shows that stem cells incorporated into a new biomaterial can heal damage caused by heart attack. Capsules of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) trigger rapid wound healing of wounded heart cells. Negligible invasive techniques will help during the injection phase.
The study aims to compare the rate of heart healing with shielded and non-shielded stem cells. The results enlightened the performance of shielded stem cells on the wounded heart cells. Shielded stem cells improve the heart healing with a rate of 2.5 times more than that of unshielded stem cells, in a period of four weeks.
In the United States, people become a victim to heart attack every 40 seconds. In myocardial infarction, the heart becomes deficient of blood due to the blockage of the coronary arteries. Ultimately leading to the death of cardiac tissues. Furthermore, the heart functions less effectively and the pumping ability of the heart reduces.
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Omid Veiseh, an assistant professor of bioengineering and co-author of Biomaterial Science. He states that their objective is to initiate wound healing. Omid Veiseh elaborates the mechanism of faster wound healing by using shielded stem cells. The underlying mechanism involves reparative factors that restore the damaged tissues with healthy tissues.
Rapid Recovery of Heart Damage by MSCs
Ravi Ghanta enlightened the importance of MSCs from the bone marrow. The mesenchymal stem cells effectively repairs the heart tissue damage caused by myocardial infarction. However keeping the cell viability is challenging throughout the process.
In most of the scenarios, transplantation leads to cell death. Recently, researchers were false to believe that stem cells become the cardiac cells. In contrast, these cells release the factors with healing properties hence reducing the damage. By keeping a large number of shielded stem cells alive for longer duration, best results can be obtained.
Veiseh elaborates an issue in this process. On account of transplant rejection, human subjects can use only a few of MSC lines. Genetic dissimilarity between the donor and recipient triggers the immune response to clear the incoming MSCs. Therefore, Veiseh’s objective is to produce encapsulation technology which do not initiate the immune response.
The Sigilon Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech company, specializes in cell therapeutics encapsulation. The main objective of the company is to treat heart diseases. Later this year the company plans to conduct clinical trials of Sigilon’s treatment of hemophilia A.
The immune system of the recipient don’t take the hydrogels as foreign substances, according to Veiseh. On account of the compatibility of these hydrogels with MSCs, the researchers are layering the MSCs with hydrogels. The porosity of the hydrogels enable the reparative factors to diffuse out and perform their function.
The study on rodents showed that these capsules are capable of keeping the islet cells of Langerhans alive for more than six months.
Delivering the Capsules to the Heart
Each capsule has a capacity of 1.5 millimeter contains about 30,000 MSCs. In the research, the wounded heart muscles were covered with these capsules to demonstrate results.
The rate of heart healing was observed in shielded and non-shielded stem cells to compare results with the control group.
In the lab models a catheter port system introduces these biomaterials into the body. They hope to administer them into humans similarly. Minimal invasive, image-guided techniques deploy the catheter into the heart. This is done prior to the administration of the catheter outside the heart.
Veiseh elaborated that the capsule is held in place by means of the pericardium. The study showed that MSCs were alive and thriving after two weeks of implantation.