Heart failure

Injectable electrically conductive patch could help restore heart function after heart failure, study finds

TORONTO – A minimally invasive cardiac patch made from carbon nanotubes could be a promising solution for patients with heart failure, suggests a new study led by Canada.

A group of scientists have developed an electrically conductive patch that can be coiled into a commercial syringe or catheter and injected into the damaged heart area. There, the patch returns to its original shape and fuses with the heart muscle, where electrical currents help muscle contraction to pump blood.

The patch has not yet been tested on humans, but it was able to restore most of the function in rats that had damaged hearts after four weeks, according to a peer-reviewed study published Thursday in Nature Biomedical Engineering. The researchers also noted functional recovery in the minipigs.

“To date, delivery of heart patches almost always requires open chest surgery,” co-author Kibret Mequanint, professor at Western University in London, Ont., Said in a statement. Mequanint specializes in biomaterials, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

The patch is unique in that it can be applied by a minimally invasive procedure and is conductive, an essential part of restoring heart function. Heart tissue that would normally help muscle contraction is often too damaged to continue pumping blood. Other heart patches are non-conductive and thus block electrical signals passing through the heart. It is also unique in that it retains its original shape.

Under the leadership of the University of Manitoba and Western University, scientists developed this patch using carbon nanotubes, which are highly conductive, extremely flexible methacrylated elastin, gelatin, and cells. cardiac.

Heart disease is the second leading cause of death in Canada, with about 200 transplants performed each year, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information. About 2.4 million Canadians over the age of 20 live with heart disease, including more than 665,000 over the age of 40 living with heart failure, according to Health Canada.

“There just aren’t enough donors, so we need other solutions, and we think we have one with our new, conductive, injectable heart patch,” Mequanint said.

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