Duke researchers create functional heart patch

Duke University researchers created an artificial human heart muscle large enough to patch over damage seen in patients who have suffered a heart attack, the university reported.
The advance takes a major step toward the goal of repairing dead heart muscle in human patients, according to the article.

The study appears online in 
Nature Communications on November 28, 2017.

According to the study abstract:

Despite increased use of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) for drug development and disease modeling studies, methods to generate large, functional heart tissues for human therapy are lacking.

In the Duke article, researcher and BMES member Ilia Shadrin  said, "Right now, virtually all existing therapies are aimed at reducing the symptoms from the damage that's already been done to the heart, but no approaches have been able to replace the muscle that's lost, because once it's dead, it does not grow back on its own."

This study shows that muscle could be replaced with tissue made outside the body, Shadrin said in the article.

Heart patches could potentially be implanted over the dead muscle and remain active for a long time, providing more strength for contractions and a smooth path for the heart's electrical signals to travel through, according to the article.

Authors of the study include: Ilya Y. Shadrin, Brian W. Allen, Ying Qian, Christopher P. Jackman, Aaron L. Carlson, Mark E. Juhas & Nenad Bursac