Stem cell advance that could fix a broken heart: Breakthrough injections may help cure condition that affects a MILLION patients, scientists say
- University College London researchers recorded breakthrough in stem cell tech
- The new injection could one day help cure faulty hearts according to scientists
- Researchers hope to begin testing innovative new jab in human trials by 2031
A breakthrough stem cell injection could one day help cure faulty hearts, according to scientists.
Previous attempts to regenerate hearts this way have faltered because the cells struggle to adapt to their new environment.
Now researchers at University College London have figured out how to keep stem cells alive for longer in the heart by first growing them on to miniature spheres.
The size of the microspheres means they can be injected into heart muscle. The researchers say their method, which was tested in rats, could help cure heart failure.
Researchers at University College London (above) have figured out how to keep stem cells alive for longer in the heart by first growing them on to miniature spheres
The disease, in which the heart cannot properly pump blood around the body, affects nearly a million people in the UK.
The scientists hope to test the treatment in humans within a decade.
Dr Daniel Stuckey at University College London said: ‘Our technology provides a new way of ensuring that the cells injected into the heart are working as they should.’
Professor Metin Avkiran, of the British Heart Foundation, said: ‘This is a promising new delivery system that could give stem cell-derived heart cells the best chance of repairing damaged hearts.’
Stem cells are those which can morph into all sorts of other cell types and are used in bone marrow transplants and other therapies.
The breakthrough stem cell injection could one day help cure heart failure, according to scientists
Dr Stuckey’s colleague Annalisa Bettini said: ‘As well as developing heart injections, we are developing these traceable microspheres to act as heart patches that can be simply injected to the particular area of heart damage.
‘In the future, these could provide cardiologists with a number of solutions to provide the best treatment for their patients.’
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