Tissue-Patching a Broken Heart
Nenad Bursac and a multi-university team of researchers has been tasked with creating and testing a three-dimensional “heart patch” that can literally mend a broken heart.
Current clinical trials are testing the tactic of injecting stem cells derived from bone marrow, blood or the heart itself directly into the heart in an attempt to replenish some of the damaged tissue. Tissue engineers believe there is a better way. By strategically placing pluripotent stem cells that can be grown into any cell type into engineered scaffolding, a three-dimensional “heart patch” can be grown that features complex tissue closely resembling native heart muscle.