One in every 20 Americans over the age of 50 suffers from something called, peripheral arterial disease or PAD. It can result in clogged arteries in your legs, which can cause a heart attack, if left untreated. But now there’s a new approach. Doctors using a patient’s own stem cells to clear things up. (…)
The arteries in her leg are clogged with plaque which puts her at risk for heart attack, stroke and amputation. Traditionally, doctors treat PAD with stents, angioplasties or bypasses. But now, they’re using a patient’s own stem cells to try and save her legs.
In a new study, researchers have for the first time demonstrated that baboon embryonic stem cells can be programmed to completely restore a severely damaged artery.
These early results show promise for eventually developing stem cell therapies to restore human tissues or organs damaged by age or disease.
“We first cultured the stem cells in petri dishes under special conditions to make them differentiate into cells that are the precursors of blood vessels, and we saw that we could get them to form tubular and branching structures, similar to blood vessels,” John L. VandeBerg, chief scientific officer from Texas Biomedical Research
Concha Herrera Arroyo, from El Pais
The Cardiology department and the Area of Cell Therapy of Cordoba hospital Reina Sofia are carrying out clinical tests with patients who have suffered from a severe heart attack. With the implantation of the patient’s stem cells, the heart regenerates thus improving its wall motion, that is, its cardiac performance.
Indeed for the last four years, the Area of Cell Therapy of Cordoba hospital, led by haematologist Dr. Concha Herrera, has been implementing a therapy program with adult stem cells in patients with heart-related problems. However, this therapy is not a service the hospital
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A technique that combines nanotechnology with adult stem cells appears to destroy atherosclerotic plaque and rejuvenate the arteries, according to a study reported at the American Heart Association‘s Basic Cardiovascular Sciences 2010 Scientific Sessions – Technological and Conceptual Advances in Cardiovascular Disease.
In the study, nanoparticles (microscopic particles with at least one dimension less than 80 nm) were infused into the heart of pigs along with adult stem cells. After the nanoparticles were heated by laser light, they burned away arterial plaque. However, nanoparticles were less effective at eliminating plaque if not combined with adult stem cells.