Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Heart patch helps heart grow new cells

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A new patch containing a naturally occurring compound called periostin was recently tested in rats and was successful in creating new heart muscle cells, called cardiomyocytes. This is a spectacular feat, according to researchers, because heart muscle, once damaged, does not regenerate. But in rats with damaged hearts, the patch improved heart function and increased the number of these types of cells.

Periostin is found in the human body and the compound helps encourage cardiomyocytes to divide. Researchers hope that this finding may one day lead to a treatment that can help patients on heart transplant lists improve heart function enough that they can be taken off the list. Read more about the study and findings here.

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