Patients suffering from heart problems have reason to rejoice because scientists have developed a tiny sleeve made out of skin cells that could prevent heart failure (and heart attacks) in such patients.
Skin cells could be the boon against heart disorders
A tiny patch could cure the heart
Some British scientists have managed to stitch together a 2 cm by 3 cm stem cell sleeve that they placed in the hearts of rabbits. The study related to this experiment was published in the British Medical Journal, and it revealed that with time, blood vessels started growing on the patches. Slowly the patches became functioning muscles of the heart.
The success of the study has made scientists hopeful that they can move to tests on humans within the next two years. One of the lead scientists Sian Harding said that this is the only way they can think of to find a cure to heart failure or even heart attack.
If the study is successful, it could change the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who are suffering from heart disorders and other cardiological conditions. As of now, there is no cure for heart failure.
How does the patch cure and repair heart attacks?
In an average heart attack, the human heart loses nearly 1 billion cells. Harding, a professor of cardiac pharmacology at Imperial College London, said that the organ could not keep beating normally with such loss because the rate of regeneration of heart muscles is very low, that is, about 1% per year. Harding also said that patch that they have developed could really help in reversing the damage.
“There are many ways to help the symptoms of heart failure, but nothing really that’s giving back that damage to the heart,” said Harding. “That’s what we’re trying to do with these cells.”
Of course, this is not the end of the road, and there is much that needs to be done to make this treatment regimen workable. Scientists will be working hard to figure out if the patches are safe for humans, and if the treatment is feasible or not.