Heart patch formed with stem cells
Scientists at Imperial College London have developed a heart patch from stem cells. Their patch is 3 centimeters by 2 centimeters and includes as many as 50 million stem cells. These cells are prepared to form into heart muscle. Scientists observed these patches beating before implanting them on a patient’s heart.
Indeed, Associate Medical Director Metin Avkiran said that these heart patches can help patients with heart failure who otherwise would have no cure for their medical condition.
In fact, the patches support damaged heart muscle and ease the pumping of the heart. Eventually this patch would fuse with the heart muscle replacing damaged heart muscle with healthy muscle.
Scientists have tested this patch in rabbits and not yet in humans.
Furthermore, this new approach transforms stem cells to a 6-centimeters-squared living patch so the therapy can be more focused and effective. The patches beat spontaneously after three days and start mimicking mature heart tissue within 4 weeks.
“This is a prime example of world-leading research that has the potential to mend broken hearts and transform lives around the globe,” Avkiran said. “If clinical trials can show the benefits of these heart patches in people after a heart attack it would be a great leap forward for regenerative medicine.”