Protein Patch Helps Building New Heart Muscle

Posted: Sep 17 2015, 6:48am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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Protein Patch Helps Building New Heart Muscle
New heart muscle cells (green with yellow nuclei) grow in the infarcted region of a mouse heart treated by the patch loaded with FSTL1. Credit: UC San Diego
  • New Protein Patch Aids in Building Cardiac Muscle

A new protein patch can aid in building cardiac muscle in patients who are survivors of a heart attack.

The experts have identified a special protein that can be applied to cardiac patients in the form of patches. The patches will help their heart muscle cells grow back again after the debilitating heart attacks they suffered.

Basically, the patch is meant to be placed inside the heart where it will regenerate cardiac muscle. Experiments on rats and pigs prove the efficacy of this application. The animals’ hearts recovered within a month or two. Within two more years, the patch will be ready for use in human beings as well.

The study was published in a journal Nature on September 16th.

“We are really excited about the prospect of bringing this technology to the clinic,” said Mark Mercola, professor of Bioengineering at UC San Diego and professor in the Development, Aging, and Regeneration Program at SBP. “It’s commercially viable, clinically attractive and you don’t need immunosuppressive drugs.”

The biotechnology is currently being used in clinical trial settings. It is hoped that this methodology will prove a successful venture in the future. The costs are minimal, the procedure is clean and not messy and there is no need for any medicines that suppress immune functioning.

The technology got used in Mercola’s laboratories to identify a protein called Follistatin-like 1 (FSTL1). This special enzyme can force heart muscles to undergo cell division. This is a surprising find alright.

A pig and rat were employed to test the power of this protein patch. After an experimentally induced heart attack, the patch was applied to the hearts of both animals. And the results were impressive indeed.

Cell multiplication and tissue regeneration took place faster than usual. And soon the damaged hearts got rebuilt and were shiny and new. Even the levels of scar tissue were brought under control thanks to this wonderful procedure.

It is a miracle of modern medicine alright. The current knowledge does not make any provision for heart muscle regeneration or the healing of scar tissues on the heart. But this novel methodology proves that the more we know, the less we know.

Most heart disease patients face dire issues due to which they either lose vitality or eventually die a painful and sudden death. A damaged heart can hardly function and finds it difficult to pump blood to the patient’s entire body.

About half the cardiac patients wind up dead within half a decade. The treatments available today are insufficient. Research on fish showed that they could regenerate heart tissue.

After the use of highly sophisticated technology and the discovery of the special protein, this prototype of a protein patch was made. One day in the not so far off future, it will be used in humans and heart attacks will be a thing of the past.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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