Magnetic Targeting May Be Beneficial in Heart Attack

Animal study finds magnetic targeting enhances cell retention, engraftment, and functional benefit

WEDNESDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Magnetic targeting may enhance cell retention, functional benefit, and engraftment of cardiosphere-derived cells (CDCs) in myocardial infarction, according to an animal study published online April 8 in Circulation Research.

Ke Cheng, Ph.D., of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and colleagues labeled CDCs with superparamagnetic microspheres (SPMs). They then injected the SPM-loaded cells intramyocardially into rats with a myocardial infarction.

The researchers found that, when a magnet was placed externally above the heart and close to the damaged heart muscle, stem cells were visibly attracted toward the magnet and accumulated around the site of injury, whereas most non-targeted cells washed out immediately after injection. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction showed approximately a three-fold increase in cell retention at 24 hours and engraftment at three weeks in the magnetically-targeted group compared to the non-targeted group. In addition, echocardiography showed the greatest functional improvement in the magnetically targeted group.

"Magnetic targeting enhances cell retention, engraftment and functional benefit," the authors write. "This novel method to improve cell therapy outcomes offers the potential for rapid translation into clinical applications."

One author is a founder and equity holder in Capricor Inc.

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