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Stem cells could repair heart attack damage

Stem cells could repair heart attack damage
13th October 2011

Stem cells could repair damaged heart muscles, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Bristol have discovered that stem cells from human cord blood could mend cardiac muscles after a heart attack, reducing the need for costly post-attack clinical care.
Professor Raimondo Ascione, lead researcher on the project, stated: "The method we have found has the attributes of simplicity and consistency. This will permit more robust manipulation of these cells towards better cell homing and cardiac repair in patients with myocardial infarction."

Cardiologists have increasingly used adult stem cells in clinical trials to repair hearts following heart attacks in recent years.

Stem cell fusion with heart cells is only possible if two cell adhesion proteins are available to attach a stem cell to a heart muscle cell.

The cells, once fused, divide again in an attempt to produce enough cells to help the heart contract and resume regular function.

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