Nanogels For Heart Attack Patients

Heart disease and heart-related illnesses are a leading cause of death around the world, but treatment options are limited. Now, one group reports in ACS Nano that encapsulating stem cells in a nanogel could help repair damage to the heart.

Myocardial infarction, also known as a heart attack, causes damage to the muscular walls of the heart. Scientists have tried different methods to repair this damage. For example, one method involves directly implanting stem cells in the heart wall, but the cells often don’t take hold, and sometimes they trigger an immune reaction. Another treatment option being explored is injectable hydrogels, substances that are composed of water and a polymer. Naturally occurring polymers such as keratin and collagen have been used but they are expensive, and their composition can vary between batches. So Ke Cheng, Hu Zhang, Jinying Zhang and colleagues wanted to see whether placing stem cells in inexpensive hydrogels with designed tiny pores that are made in the laboratory would work.

The team encapsulated stem cells in nanogels, which are initially liquid but then turn into a soft gel when at body temperature. The nanogel didn’t adversely affect stem cell growth or function, and the encased stem cells didn’t trigger a rejection response. When these enveloped cells were injected into mouse and pig hearts, the researchers observed increased cell retention and regeneration compared to directly injecting just the stem cells. In addition, the heart walls were strengthened. Finally, the group successfully tested the encapsulated stem cells in mouse and pig models of myocardial infarction.

Source: https://www.acs.org/
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How To Reduce Recurrent Heart Attacks

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai designs a high-density lipoprotein HDL – nanoparticle to deliver statin medication inside inflamed blood vessels to prevent repeat heart attacks and stroke.
Mount Sinai‘s novel HDL nanoparticle (red), loaded with a statin drug, specifically targets and locally treats inflammatory macrophage cells (green) hiding inside high-risk plaque within blood vessels.
Up to 30 percent of heart attack patients suffer a new heart attack because cardiologists are unable to control inflammation inside heart arteries — the process that leads to clots rupturing and causing myocardial infarction or stroke.

In mouse studies, they show this HDL nanotherapy is capable of directly targeting and lowering dangerous inflammation in blood vessels.
Not only could the HDL nanotherapy potentially avert repeat heart attacks, it may also have the power to reduce recurrent strokes caused by clots in brain arteries, says the study’s senior investigator, Willem Mulder, PhD, Associate Professor of Radiology in the Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

HDL nanoparticleMount Sinai’s novel HDL nanoparticle (red), loaded with a statin drug, specifically targets and locally treats inflammatory macrophage cells (green) hiding inside high-risk plaque within blood vessels.
We envision that a safe and effective HDL nanotherapy could substantially lower cardiovascular events during the critical period of vulnerability after a heart attack or stroke,” says Dr. Mulder.
While we have much more to do to confirm clinical benefit in patients, our study shows how this nanotherapy functions biologically, and how this novel concept could potentially also work in the clinical setting to solve a critical problem”, he added. “This nanotherapy would be the first of its kind.”

Source; http://icahn.mssm.edu/