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Getting to the heart of the matter: Nanogels for heart attack patients

Date:
September 20, 2017
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Heart disease and heart-related illnesses are a leading cause of death around the world, but treatment options are limited. Now, one group reports that encapsulating stem cells in a nanogel could help repair damage to the heart.
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Heart disease and heart-related illnesses are a leading cause of death around the world, but treatment options are limited. Now, one group reports in ACS Nano that encapsulating stem cells in a nanogel could help repair damage to the heart.

Myocardial infarction, also known as a heart attack, causes damage to the muscular walls of the heart. Scientists have tried different methods to repair this damage. For example, one method involves directly implanting stem cells in the heart wall, but the cells often don't take hold, and sometimes they trigger an immune reaction. Another treatment option being explored is injectable hydrogels, substances that are composed of water and a polymer. Naturally occurring polymers such as keratin and collagen have been used but they are expensive, and their composition can vary between batches. So Ke Cheng, Hu Zhang, Jinying Zhang and colleagues wanted to see whether placing stem cells in inexpensive hydrogels with designed tiny pores that are made in the laboratory would work.

The team encapsulated stem cells in nanogels, which are initially liquid but then turn into a soft gel when at body temperature. The nanogel didn't adversely affect stem cell growth or function, and the encased stem cells didn't trigger a rejection response. When these enveloped cells were injected into mouse and pig hearts, the researchers observed increased cell retention and regeneration compared to directly injecting just the stem cells. In addition, the heart walls were strengthened. Finally, the group successfully tested the encapsulated stem cells in mouse and pig models of myocardial infarction.


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Materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Junnan Tang, Xiaolin Cui, Thomas G. Caranasos, M. Taylor Hensley, Adam C. Vandergriff, Yusak Hartanto, Deliang Shen, Hu Zhang, Jinying Zhang, Ke Cheng. Heart Repair Using Nanogel-Encapsulated Human Cardiac Stem Cells in Mice and Pigs with Myocardial Infarction. ACS Nano, 2017; DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.7b01008

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Getting to the heart of the matter: Nanogels for heart attack patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 September 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170920100008.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2017, September 20). Getting to the heart of the matter: Nanogels for heart attack patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170920100008.htm
American Chemical Society. "Getting to the heart of the matter: Nanogels for heart attack patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170920100008.htm (accessed July 23, 2024).

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