An attractive solution for heart repair

August 15, 2014 by Tracey Peake, North Carolina State University
Using magnets and stem cell therapy to repair heart damage. Credit: Alice Harvey.

Stem cell therapy is a promising option for repairing heart tissue damaged by heart attack. However, the main obstacle to cardiac stem cell therapy also happens to be pretty difficult to get around – and that's the fact that the heart is constantly in motion.

"Cell retention is always problematic when you do cell transplantation, but in the heart it is particularly difficult," says Ke Cheng, associate professor of at NC State. "The heart's pumping can wash cells out of the organ and they'll either disappear or end up in other organs – where they are essentially wasted."

Cheng specializes in regenerative medicine, and he wanted to address the problem of keeping where they belong long enough for them to settle in and start working. In 2010, he showed that it was possible to attach an iron nanoparticle to cardiac stem cells and use a to keep the cells where they needed to be.

Now, Cheng has taken his process one step further. In a recently published paper in Biomaterials, Cheng used nanoparticles from an FDA-approved anemia drug called Feraheme to label the cardiac stem cells, then used magnets to direct the cells to the hearts of rats with .

"The magnetic field dramatically improved cell retention and the therapeutic effects," Cheng says. "We're talking about a three-fold increase in cell retention. And the fact that the label we used is an already FDA-approved drug means that we are one step closer to bringing the therapy to clinical trials in humans."

Explore further: Mayo Clinic restores disrupted heartbeat with regenerative intervention

More information: Biomaterials, www.sciencedirect.com/science/ … ii/S0142961214007224

Related Stories

Mayo Clinic restores disrupted heartbeat with regenerative intervention

September 3, 2013
Mayo Clinic researchers have found a way to resynchronize cardiac motion following a heart attack using stem cells. Scientists implanted engineered stem cells, also known as induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, into damaged ...

Therapeutic impact of cell transplantation aided by magnetic factor

September 24, 2012
Two studies in the current issue of Cell Transplantation (21:6), now freely available on-line, demonstrate how the use of magnetic particles are a factor that can positively impact on the targeted delivery of transplanted ...

Interleukin-10 aids survival of cells transplanted to repair cardiac tissues after MI

July 18, 2014
The long-term, positive benefits of transplanted allogenic (other-donated) smooth muscle cells (SMCs) to repair cardiac tissues after myocardial infarction (MI) have been enhanced by the addition of interleukin 10 (IL-10) ...

Researchers identify how heart stem cells orchestrate regeneration

May 6, 2014
Investigators at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute – whose previous research showed that cardiac stem cell therapy reduces scarring and regenerates healthy tissue after a heart attack in humans – have identified components ...

Heart's own stem cells offer hope for new treatment of heart failure

August 15, 2013
Researchers at King's College London have for the first time highlighted the natural regenerative capacity of a group of stem cells that reside in the heart. This new study shows that these cells are responsible for repairing ...

Genetically engineered cardiac stem cells repaired damaged mouse heart

July 19, 2011
Genetically engineered human cardiac stem cells helped repair damaged heart tissue and improved function after a heart attack, in a new animal study.

Recommended for you

A nanoparticle inhalant for treating heart disease

January 18, 2018
A team of researchers from Italy and Germany has developed a nanoparticle inhalant for treating people suffering from heart disease. In their paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the group describes ...

Starting periods before age of 12 linked to heightened risk of heart disease and stroke

January 15, 2018
Starting periods early—before the age of 12—is linked to a heightened risk of heart disease and stroke in later life, suggests an analysis of data from the UK Biobank study, published online in the journal Heart.

'Decorated' stem cells could offer targeted heart repair

January 10, 2018
Although cardiac stem cell therapy is a promising treatment for heart attack patients, directing the cells to the site of an injury - and getting them to stay there - remains challenging. In a new pilot study using an animal ...

Two simple tests could help to pinpoint cause of stroke

January 10, 2018
Detecting the cause of the deadliest form of stroke could be improved by a simple blood test added alongside a routine brain scan, research suggests.

Exercise is good for the heart, high blood pressure is bad—researchers find out why

January 10, 2018
When the heart is put under stress during exercise, it is considered healthy. Yet stress due to high blood pressure is bad for the heart. Why? And is this always the case? Researchers of the German Centre for Cardiovascular ...

Heart-muscle patches made with human cells improve heart attack recovery

January 10, 2018
Large, human cardiac-muscle patches created in the lab have been tested, for the first time, on large animals in a heart attack model. This clinically relevant approach showed that the patches significantly improved recovery ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.