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Stem Cell Infusion Leads to New Heart Cells

Posted on Nov 25, 2011

November 18, 2011 - Science Daily reports that stem cell infusion has stimulated new heart cell growth by as much as 30 percent in recent trials.

The research, undertaken at the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, showed that new heart cells were generated by animals with chronic ischemic heart disease after they had been administered stem cells. The stem cells in question had been retrieved from cardiac biopsies, also known as "cardiospheres."

Chronic ischemic heart disease is typically characterized by a decreased blood supply to the heart tissue and is the most common form of death in most developed nations. Previous research has focused predominantly on how to re-grow heart tissue in damaged areas, but this team focused on regenerating muscle using these cardiosphere-derived cells (CDC) and infusing them into the coronary arteries of both damaged and normal regions of the heart. 

John M. Canty Jr., a co-author of the study likened the approach of healing heart tissue to "planting seeds in fertile soil." Researchers in the team are hopeful that they will begin patient trials within a few years. 

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