Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Stem Cells May Help Repair Valve Defects!

Bloomberg Science, Nov. 10 -- Cardiologists at the University Hospital of Munich believe that umbilical cord blood, rich in stem cells, may bre the raw material needed to repair the hearts of thousands of children born each year with defective heart valves. The researchers reported the findings at the November 10 annual meeting of the American Heart Association. They believe they are 5 to 7 years away from transplanting new valves created from cord blood with patient's faulty valves.

The Munich researchers are ready to begin trials in lambs, using collected cells (frozen for preservation) to seed into biodegradable polymer scaffolds. Thus far, eight bio-engineered valves have acted much like natural heart valves when tested for blood flow and pressure. The scaffolds will disolve over time, leaving behind a fully formed structure made from the cells, they assert. The next step will be to transplant the heart valves into hearts of young lambs, watching them to see how they grow and function over time. The experiments are hoped to begin next year.

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1 comment:

Regina said...

Wow!!! This is just plain out awesome & amazing...I can go on & on. Thanks for posting this!