New research has found that stem cells derived from human cord blood could be an effective alternative in repairing heart attacks.
At least 20 million people survive heart attacks and strokes every year, according to World Health Organisation estimates, but many have poor life expectancy and require continual costly clinical care. The use of patient’s own stem cells may repair heart attacks, although their benefit may be limited due to scarce availability and ageing. The researchers have found heart muscle-like cells grown using stem cells from human umbilical cord blood could help repair heart muscle cells damaged by a heart
It has long been thought that damage to the heart is irreversible, but new research is challenging that assumption.
Investigators from Children’s Hospital Boston were able to reverse heart damage in mice by stimulating the growth of new heart muscle cells.
They did this by injecting the mice with the growth factor neuregulin1, which is a key player in heart cell growth.
Until recently, most experts believed that the heart muscle could not repair itself, in part because the cells responsible for its development stop proliferating after birth.
But recent studies have shown that these heart muscle cells, known as cardiomyocytes, do have