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Nanofiber Matrix Improves Heart Cell Therapy

Nanofiber and growth factor 'sandwich' improves transplanted cell survival in rat MI model

MONDAY, May 15 (HealthDay News) -- A matrix of nanofiber peptides and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) improves cell therapy in a rat model of myocardial infarction, according to a report published online May 12 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

Richard T. Lee, M.D., from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues used self-assembling biotinylated nanofibers, IGF-1 and cardiomyocytes to treat damaged hearts in rats. Transplanted cells were tested for their ability to survive, engraft and differentiate in the treated hearts.

The researchers first showed that the nanofiber/IGF-1 "biotin sandwich" was active in a three-dimensional myocyte culture model, that the complex remained active in vivo, and that it could promote cardiomyocyte growth and survival after transplantation. The investigators then performed a blinded infarct study in 60 rats and showed that the treatment improved muscle cell growth and overall heart function after 21 days.

"We describe one approach that allows greater control of the intramyocardial environment by delivering growth factors to injured myocardium," the authors write. "With this system, it may be possible to design the local microenvironment to improve the endogenous regenerative response, for example, by delivery of a chemoattractant to promote stem cell migration."

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