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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Russian scientists close to creating a “patch” for the heart

A group of specialists from Russia, representing Moscow Institute of physics and technology, towards the creation of technology that would allow to grow suitable for heart transplantation or parts for it in the laboratory. In particular, the specialists have figured out how to interact with polymer scaffolds with cell cultures of the Central organ of the circulation.

photo: pixabay.com

As experts explain, their study is aimed at creation of a copy of the human heart or “patches” that could be used, if one or the other part of the body injured during a myocardial infarction or in any other circumstances. For this, the researchers are studying how cells interact with these templates and how polymeric scaffolds can control their growth. In a recent study, researchers drew attention to two key types of cardiac muscle cells – the cardiomyocytes that comprise muscle fibers, and fibroblasts, representing the basis of connective tissue.

Researchers were interested in how the cells of each of these types grow on the surface of the nanofibers of polylactide, a biodegradable polymer from lactic acid molecules. In order to follow this, experts have used three independent methods. In the result it was found out that the cardiomyocytes, developing on a substrate of nanofibers, cover them from all sides and in most cases take the form of “case”, and the fibroblasts have a more rigid structure. In addition, fibroblasts are based on nanofibers on one side only and, consequently, have a smaller area of interaction with them. The scientists also found that cells respond differently to external stimuli — in particular, cardiomyocytes stronger “cling” to the surface of nanowires than the fibroblasts.

The scientific work of specialists was published in the journal Acta Biomaterialia.

As reported, the specialists of MIPT has managed to combine cells of heart tissue extracted from the body in two different species of animals, and made the resulting “Frankenstein heart” to beat.

Growing a full copy of the patient’s heart will not only allow you to create the perfect “fall back” on, but in General can bring a solution to the problem of shortage of donor organs. Some alternative methods for solving this problem (in particular, the raising of animals with the bodies of people) has in the past been criticised by some public figures and scientists due to the fact that they may be considered controversial from an ethical point of view.

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