Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gold nanowires in engineered patches enhance electrical signaling and contraction

Date:
September 26, 2011
Source:
Children's Hospital Boston
Summary:
A team of physicians, engineers and materials scientists have used nanotechnology and tiny gold wires to engineer cardiac patches, with cells all beating in time, that could someday help heart attack patients.

A team of physicians, engineers and materials scientists at Children's Hospital Boston and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have used nanotechnology and tiny gold wires to engineer cardiac patches, with cells all beating in time, that could someday help heart attack patients.

Related Articles


As reported online by Nature Nanotechnology on September 25, the addition of gold wires to the engineered heart tissue make it electrically conductive, potentially improving on existing cardiac patches. Such patches are starting to go into clinical trials for heart patients.

"If you don't have the gold nanowires, and you stimulate the cardiac patch with an electrode, the cells will beat only right where you're stimulating," says senior investigator Daniel Kohane, MD, PhD, of the Laboratory for Biomaterials and Drug Delivery at Children's Hospital Boston. "With the nanowires, you see a lot of cells contracting together, even when the stimulation is far away. That shows the tissue is conducting."

After incubation, the patches studded with the gold nanowires were thicker and their heart muscle cells better organized. When stimulated with an electrical current, the cells produced a measurable spike in voltage, and electrical communication between adjacent bundles of cardiac cells was markedly improved. In contrast, only a negligible current passed through patches lacking the wires, and cells beat only in isolated clusters.

Kohane thinks the nanowire technology could be applied to the engineering of any electrically excitable tissue, including tissue in the brain and spinal cord. Gold was chosen as a material because it's a conductive material, easy to fabricate, scientists have a lot of experience with it, and it is tolerated by the body.

The wires average 30 nanometers thick and 2-3 microns long, just barely visible to the naked eye.

Since testing has so far been done only in cell cultures, the team plans to do further experiments to see how well the cardiac patches function in live animal models, and to get a better understanding of how exactly the nanowires are enhancing electrical signaling and contraction.

Kohane believes the gold fibers help because they're long enough to cross the scaffolding material that holds the cells and may act as a barrier to electrical conduction. In addition, the experiments showed enhanced production of troponin I, a protein involved in muscle calcium binding and contraction, and connexin-43, a protein involved in electrical coupling between cells that is believed to play a critical role in the development of the heart's architecture and in the synchronized contraction of the heart.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association. The paper's co-first authors were Tal Dvir, PhD, and Brian Timko, PhD, both of the Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Laboratory for Biomaterials and Drug Delivery at Children's Hospital Boston.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Children's Hospital Boston. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tal Dvir, Brian P. Timko, Mark D. Brigham, Shreesh R. Naik, Sandeep S. Karajanagi, Oren Levy, Hongwei Jin, Kevin K. Parker, Robert Langer & Daniel S. Kohane. Nanowired three-dimensional cardiac patches. Nature Nanotechnology, 25 September 2011 DOI: 1038/nnano.2011.160

Cite This Page:

Children's Hospital Boston. "Gold nanowires in engineered patches enhance electrical signaling and contraction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110925185437.htm>.
Children's Hospital Boston. (2011, September 26). Gold nanowires in engineered patches enhance electrical signaling and contraction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110925185437.htm
Children's Hospital Boston. "Gold nanowires in engineered patches enhance electrical signaling and contraction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110925185437.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins