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RESEARCH


Myocardioplasty & Agioplasty

15.03.2013

 

Cellular cardiomyoplasty (or cardiac cell therapy) appeared as an innovative and experimental therapy in 1992. The main goal of this strategy is to protect, repair and regenerate the injured heart with cells and, therefore, improve cardiac function. During last years, numerous clinical trials and animal studies have tested and improved the therapeutic potential of a great diversity of cells, specially of stem cells because of their special ability to proliferate, differentiate to specific cell types (such as fibroblasts or smooth muscle cells) and self-renew. However, clinical studies of administration of isolated cells have revealed that homing and long-term engraftment, survival, growth and differentiation of transplanted cells in the infarct and peri-infarct areas are minimal, independently of the administration route, cell type and dose.


In light of the modest beneficial effects of the administration of isolated cells in clinical trials of cardiac cell therapy, scientific research has evolved towards a more innovative, interdisciplinary and complex approach in recent years with the objective of overcoming the evident limitations of cellular cardiomyoplasty: cardiac tissue engineering or tissue cardiomyoplasty, the fusion of the knowledge and the methods of life sciences and engineering with the aim of repairing or regenerating the damaged heart and improve or restore cardiac function. 

 


 Image: Principle of tissue engineering, by HIA (link)


Cardiac tissue engineering involves three main strategies that can be combined in order to induce synergistic effects and, therefore, achieve greatest therapeutic potential: the use of specific cell types, the application of defined scaffolds and the addition of signalling molecules or specific environments that can stimulate cells in a beneficial way.

 


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TECAS-ITN End-of-Network Conference

 Padua, November 28-30, 2016

The TECAS-ITN European Doctoral Academy in Regenerative Engineering, is organising the End-of-Network Conference in Padua, Italy.


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