Advances in cardiothoracic medicine made by medical professionals who are willing to challenge current standards and practices. At the Montefiore Einstein Center for Heart and Vascular Care, we are one of few heart centers in the world engaged in clinical research on regenerating heart muscle.
Is it possible to regenerate the heart muscle once it has been severely damaged? By devoting study to this question, the Heart and Vascular Center hopes to turn today's hypothetical therapies into the gold standard of care in the future.
Can Skeletal Muscle from the Quadriceps Stimulate the Regeneration of Heart Muscle Tissue?
Robert Michler, MD, the Chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, is a lead author on a paper published in Circulation: The Journal of the American Heart Association, which details the results of a study investigating skeletal muscle cells in patients who underwent bypass surgery. The study proved that skeletal muscle is safe for implantation into the heart muscle. A variety of cardiac imaging techniques showed that the cells survived and implanted into the heart tissue. Results of this study led to recommendations for isolated FDA clinical trials regarding skeletal muscle in the heart
Can Stem Cells Harvested from the Patient's Own Heart Muscle Stimulate Heart Muscle Regeneration?
Even as surgeons at the Heart and Vascular Center continue to examine the possibility of using cells from the skeletal muscle, new innovations are being studied. The muscles, such as those muscles used to walk and run, contract when in use and relax at rest. This is very different from the heart muscle, which is designed to contract 80 times a minute for a lifetime.Cardiac imaging techniques proved that skeletal muscle cells successfully regenerate and thrive once implanted into the heart muscle.
To examine the differences between these two types of cells, the Heart and Vascular Center has entered an exclusive research partnership with one of the world's foremost basic scientists on cardiac stem cells. Their collaborative research will identify cardiac stem cells, study their properties and determine whether it's possible to coax them to rapidly multiply.
The Heart and Vascular Center is among the only institutions in the world pushing the limits of cardiothoracic and vascular medicine through this kind of innovative research.
Can Stem Cells Harvested from the Patient's Own Bone Marrow Stimulate Heart Muscle Regeneration?
During the trial, a surgeon will inject a patient's bone marrow stem cells into the heart at the time a patient receives a VAD, or heart pump, to determine if the heart can use bone marrow stem cells to repair damaged tissue.