Protein patches to restore heart attack

Alas, heart attacks, and even more so heart attacks, do not go unnoticed. After them, scars often remain on the heart, which affects its life. Scientists around the world are actively working on this problem, using the achievements of modern technologies.

A team of scientists from Stanford and California Universities led by Professor Pilar Ruiz-Lozano has developed a protein patch that induces the regeneration of heart tissue.

Having studied in detail the outer layer of the fish's heart - the pericardium, scientists have come to the conclusion that it is he who is responsible for the restoration of the heart muscle. Pericardial cells - cardiomyocytes - have attracted particular attention for their ability to divide, which is facilitated by some proteins. As a result of mass spectroscopy, more than 300 "candidates" for this role were identified. The "winner" was the protein-follistatin FSTL1.

On its basis, a therapeutic collagen patch was developed. The patch has the same elasticity as the heart tissue. Its effect was tested on the heart of a pig (the patch was installed surgically), which suffered from the attack.

Scientists noted the beginning of the process of tissue regeneration, as a result of which the affected area was restored by 40%. Human clinical trials are expected to begin in 2017.