New Microthread Technology Could Deliver Stem Cells Directly to Damaged Hearts
December 10, 2010 9:45 AM
comment(s) - last by
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
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
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.
"This is about the Internet. Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
Primate-based Model/Bone Stem Cells Used to Regenerate Bladders
November 26, 2010, 11:33 AM
New Therapeutic Implant Saves Those with Mild to Moderate Heart Failure
November 15, 2010, 10:52 AM
Muscle Injury in Mice Repaired with Stem Cell Transplant
November 12, 2010, 8:57 AM
Tiny Enzyme-carrying Particles Used to Treat Heart Attack Victims
November 16, 2009, 1:24 PM
Creationists are Mad About Google Doodle Depicting Evolution
November 24, 2015, 8:48 PM
DHS and TSA: Whoops, We Missed That 73 Airport Employees May be Terrorists
November 19, 2015, 2:16 PM
Star Wars Spinoff Film "Rogue One", Theme Park Attractions Announced
August 17, 2015, 12:20 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information