Researchers receive $8 million grant to develop bioengineered, human heart-tissue patch

To prevent heart failure and restore heart function, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham will work to create a bioengineered, human heart-tissue patch that is large, standardized and highly functional, according to the university. 
This preclinical work will be supported by a seven-year, $8 million grant just awarded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, according to a university article.

The research hub is led by Biomedical Engineering Chair Jianyi “Jay” Zhang, Timothy Kamp, M.D., of Wisconsin and Nenad Bursac, Ph.D., of Duke. The teams will work with individual cells and bioengineered patches made up of many cells. They will test the bioengineered cells in mice and the bioengineered patches in pigs, according to the article.

The goal is to bring cardiac tissue engineering therapies into the clinic for human use by the end of the grant. Ischemic heart disease from restricted blood flow and oxygen starvation is a leading cause of death in the United States. One in every seven deaths in the United States results from coronary artery disease. ome of our biggest healthcare challenges.”