New heart patch strengthens the heart after a heart attack

Tissue patches to enhance the force of contraction after a heart attack

Every year, around 200,000 people in Germany suffer a heart attack. Thanks to the latest technology, some three-quarters of those Affected are surviving such an attack. However, damaged areas remain in most of the cases that weaken the heart permanently. A newly developed heart-patch is now to improve healing after a heart attack.

A German research team developed a kind of plaster for the heart, after a heart attack, the force of contraction of the heart should improve. It is a tissue made from heart muscle cells, which is sewn in a surgical procedure on the surface of the heart, to grow new heart tissue. So a heart to prevent weakness after a heart attack. The new cardiac patch should on 07. May 2019 in a press conference for the 125. Annual meeting of the German society for Internal medicine e. V. (DGIM) in Wiesbaden, Germany, will be presented.

Why does the heart after a heart attack, a band-aid?

Cardiovascular diseases lead for years, the list of causes of death. More than a third of all people in Germany die of heart disease. The heart attack is one of the most dangerous cardiovascular diseases. Although around three-quarters of those Affected survive, thanks to good emergency care, a heart attack, the heart muscle is often permanently damaged. Around a quarter of them, it comes after a heart attack, chronic heart weakness. The new tissue patches for the heart can counteract this development.

A patch against heart weakness

“Under a so-called congestive heart failure (heart failure) suffer from many patients in Germany”, explains Professor Dr. med. Claus F. Vogelmeier, Congress President of this year’s annual meeting of the DGIM, in a press release to the new heart patch. The sewn on strips of fabric to bring three advantages: firstly, no cells were washed away, causing the efficiency to increase considerably, on the other, there is no heart rhythm disturbances, and in addition, the force of contraction of the new tissue, let prior to the Implantation test.

High-tech plaster for the heart

As the doctors tell, is the patch already for 25 years in the development. First, the heart muscle cells from stem cells have to be grown in the laboratory. These are grown on a scaffold made of Collagen or Fibrin, to a heart muscle patch. In technical language, these patches are referred to as “Engineered heart tissue” (EHT). In Operation, these will be sewn on the heart surface, to grow, and new heart now making up the tissue. Another possibility is to inject the heart cells directly into the muscle. This is less expensive than surgery, in comparison, but also less efficient. In addition, the risk for heart rhythm disorders, after injection.

In the case of animals already tested successfully

As the DGIM practitioners to inform, to pave both the injection of cardiac muscle cells, as well as the Application of a Heart have already been successfully in various animal species tested. “Part of impressive amounts of new heart could be muscle tissue to demonstrate,” explains Professor Dr. med. Thomas ash Hagen, the Director of the Institute at the centre for Experimental medicine of the University hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf.

No side effects known

To the above-mentioned heart-rhythm disturbances, which occurred only in the case of injections, so far no side effects known. However, data from the long-term history is still missing. Nevertheless, the researchers are now confident that the patch is in the foreseeable future available. Already in the coming year should be tested in the context of a study, the first heart patch on human patients with severe congestive heart failure, which would otherwise be dependent on a donor heart. (vb)