Last time, NoCamels reported on a breakthrough method to aid the heart heal itself following a heart attack, using gold nanoparticles. Now, following further testing and developments, the Tel Aviv University research team has discovered a way to heal the heart using tissue taken from patients’ own bodies, together with energy-conducting gold particles.
Because heart cells cannot multiply and cardiac muscles contain few stem cells, heart tissue is unable to repair itself after a heart attack. This means that severe damage can only be treated with heart transplants, which are costly, invasive and have long waiting lists. In order to address this “heart-wrenching” problem, Dr. Tal Dvir used sophisticated tools to develop working substitutes for damaged heart tissues.
Searching for innovative methods to restore heart function, especially cardiac “patches” that could be transplanted into the body to replace damaged heart tissue, Dr. Dvir literally struck gold. He and his team discovered that gold particles are able to improve the cardiac patch’s electrical conductivity.
In a study published by “Nano Letters,” Dr. Dvir’s team presented their model for a superior hybrid cardiac patch, which incorporates biomaterial harvested from patients’ own bodies and gold nanoparticles. “Our goal was twofold,” said Dr. Dvir. “To engineer tissue that would not trigger an immune response in the patient, and to fabricate a functional patch not beset by signalling or conductivity problems.”