gel répare blessure infarctus coeur

Injectable experimental gel can repair heart damage

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Cell therapies have seen significant advances in recent years, particularly thanks to biotechnologies in tissue engineering. The latter are used in particular in tissue repair and could one day make it possible to repair heart damage after a heart attack, according to a recent study presented at the recent British Heart and Vascular Society conference in Manchester. If the millions of people suffering from a heart attack today can be saved, they often have to bear the “scars”, which are often responsible for heart failure. An experimental new injectable generation, developed by British researchers, offers new hope by serving as a cellular support scaffold. It allows the growth of cells and thus repair of the heart muscle (the muscle tissue of the heart).

The incidence of heart disease – direct risk factors for heart attacks – in the world is increasing. According to the World Health Organization, the number of deaths from heart disease could have risen from 2 million in 2000 to 9 million in 2019, which is approximately 16% of deaths worldwide.

The causes of these diseases are varied and range from age to genetics. Obesity is likely related to the current trend of over-consumption, and is also among the major risk factors. Especially previous studies have shown that people with a high body mass index have a 30% greater risk of developing one or more cardiovascular diseases (venous or arterial insufficiency, arterial hypertension, atherosclerosis, etc.).

In the UK alone, there are more than 100,000 admissions to hospital for heart attacks annually, or about one every five minutes. After a heart attack, the heart has a very limited ability to heal, exposing survivors to permanent sequelae (eg heart failure).

Tissue engineering techniques may have the potential to reverse this trend. The researchers, from the University of Manchester, have created a gel that can be injected directly into the heart. It acts as a scaffold to help cells grow and form new heart tissue.

Although this new technology is still in its infancy, the potential of this new technology to help repair failing hearts after a heart attack is enormous. Catherine King, author of the new research and a doctoral student at the University of Manchester, said in a statement.

Similar injectable gel technologies already exist for cell repair, but were previously intended only for cartilage or blood vessels. The latter generally relies on culturing cells on gel substrates that are then surgically placed in areas of intervention. They can also be used during angioplasty procedures or when placing stents.

But until now, attempts to repair heart tissue have revolved around the injection of reprogrammed cells (which differentiate into heart cells). However, only 1% of these cells survived and remained in place on the scar during previous studies. Thanks to this gel, these cells can stay in place properly and multiply more efficiently.

Flexible gel based on peptides

For successful treatment, a good blood supply is needed for the injected cells to effectively grow into new tissue. The researchers then used the gel first on isolated blood vessel cells, which were able to grow effectively.

Next, the gel was applied to human cells that were reprogrammed and divided into cardiac cells. The cells were able to multiply in the laboratory Three weeks later, they started beating in unison. in healthy mice (He lives), the echocardiogram and electrocardiogram showed that the gel could be injected properly without inducing toxicity. The substrate moistened with the fluorescent marker was injected into the hearts of mice. Follow-up by fluorescence revealed that the gel containing the repair cells adhered to the walls of the heart for two weeks, which was sufficient time for a good recovery.

The gel substrate consists of peptide chains whose natural affinity for ligands allows them to maintain their integrity in various states. When subjected to a certain degree of stress, peptides in particular can disintegrate and act as a liquid, which is ideal for injection. When the pressure is removed (after the fluid is injected), the peptides assemble to act like a solid and effectively hold the cells in place while they attach to the heart.

Soon, the scientists plan to test the technology on mice that have suffered a heart attack, in order to determine if the heart muscle can heal efficiently enough to restore optimal pumping abilities. Ultimately, this gel could solve one of the major problems hindering the development of cellular therapies.

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