New Microthread Technology Could Deliver Stem Cells Directly to Damaged Hearts
December 10, 2010 9:45 AM
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These are the cells on a single thread, where green cells represent those that are dividing
(Source: Worcester Polytechnic Institute)
hMSCs could repair damaged cardiac tissue after a heart attack
Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)
researchers may have found a way to repair cardiac muscle that has been damaged by a heart attack through the development of
a new technology
capable of delivering stem cells directly to damaged tissue within the body.
Glenn Gaudette, lead author of the study and assistant professor of biomedical engineering at WPI, along with George Pins, associate professor of biomedical engineering at WPI, and a team of researchers, have developed a new technology that has the potential to aid in the repair of damaged cardiac tissue (as well as other tissue) after a
Prior to Gaudette and Pins' study, injecting human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs), which come from adult bone marrow, into the heart muscle or bloodstream resulted poorly, with 15 percent or less of the cells actually attaching to heart muscle or even surviving. Many of the injected hMSCs are washed away by the bloodstream.
But now, WPI researchers have developed a biopolymer microthread technology that could deliver these hMSCs directly to damaged heart tissue. The microthreads are made of fibrin, which is a protein that assists in blood clotting, and can be engineered to acquire different tensile strengths and to dissolve at various rates
. This makes it easier to adjust the threads for several different uses.
Gaudette and Pins used small bundles of the fibrin microthreads to seed hMSCs, where the stem cells would attach to the threads. Once attached, the hMSCs were cultured for five days. According to the study, the stem cells started multiplying and eventually covered the two-centimeter-long threads completely. There were approximately 10,000 hMSCs on each one.
Once the seeding and growing process was complete, the microthreads were attached to a surgical needle and drawn through a collagen gel. This gel stimulated the human tissue, keeping the stem cells both alive and attached to the threads. This result suggests that the cells could be sutured into human tissue.
"We're pleased with the progress of this work," said Gaudette. "This technology is developing into a potentially powerful system for
delivering therapeutic cells
right to where they are needed, whether that's a damaged heart or other tissues."
In addition to repairing damaged hearts, Gaudette and his team tested to see if the
still had the ability to grow into other kinds of cells as well. To do this, they took the stem cells off of the threads and used established protocols to culture them and prompt them to differentiate into bone cells and fat cells. As it turns out, the cells were able to differentiate into both.
"It appears that the cells we grew on the threads behave the same way we would expect mesenchymal stem cells would in vivo," said Gaudette. "So we believe these results are proof-of-principle - that we can now deliver these cells anywhere a surgeon can place a suture. That's exciting."
Gaudette and his team are now testing the biopolymer microthread technology on a rat model. Also, Pins is looking to use the microthreads to create replacement ligaments and tendons.
was published in the
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research
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Welcome to the new world.
12/11/2010 1:45:20 PM
Medical practices in general are moving at very large leaps and bounds across the board. Now or very soon you will be able to de-age your body. The new form of breast implants and cosmetics is done largely with this same model. If a woman wants larger breast the trick her personal cells into growing as if she were in her developmental life period.
This is the same basic thing as the heart repair shown here. The stem cells tell the body to replace there old cell's with them, and then incorporate into that persons general biological make up. This is great for medicine as well as in general for the human race.
While I am not on a soap box, nor would I consider this to be one, and of course I do not want to die either. You must philosophically at least consider some of these things. If I can do something such as this which is a very, very intricate outcome to achieve, how long before A human can just live forever.
I would say that outcome is not very far off really. I would also say that outcome is questionable at best. What will the impact be if there are no consequences.
I also will add that this writer's style is very good as has been mentioned here by several others. I also will counter those who post comments about Jason as well as other writers here. Without Jason this place would not exist period so you would not see the other writer's work. I will add they also use different styles.
However; if you as an adult cannot read as well as interpret content or subject from any writing form, or style, you may want to question your own personal skills or levels thereof at such activities. I personally have never had any difficulty reading or getting the general information straight by anything on here. Yes some is opinionated, yes some is bent to follow a certain path or seeming outcome.
If you cannot as a thinking adult gather what you need, and form a general opinion of said subject, or it's matter no matter it's style of presentation, you might want to take an interpretive reading class or something at your local higher educational institution. You have obviously lost some of your interpretive skills with age, or something.
RE: Welcome to the new world.
12/11/2010 3:13:08 PM
In my opinion, humanity is truly on the edge of controlling its own destiny, just as you have clearly put it out here. I have to wonder, though, about how this will affect the future of the human race, though? Think about it, more and more people are living everyday because medical science continues to make these leaps and bounds in finding ways to pro-long the human life; however, as it stands, the oil, humantie's life-giving energy, is eventually going to run out. Top that with food shortages throughout the world, and an ever expanding human population, and I just do not see how it would be fair for someone to remain young forever instead of living their life and letting the next person take their place?
RE: Welcome to the new world.
12/12/2010 4:39:44 PM
You mean "rich" humanity is truly on the edge of controlling its own destiny...
RE: Welcome to the new world.
12/11/2010 10:13:15 PM
you should take a look at
(and other stuff by Kurzweil) also take a look at the work Aubrey de Grey is doing (
both believe that we are on the verge of slowing the aging process and that shortly thereafter we will be able to stop it and ultimately reverse it.
whether one agrees with them or not, what they have to say is interesting, and Kurzweil at least as a relatively impressive track record at predicting technological progress.
"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad
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