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Stem cell patch may help repair damage caused by heart attacks

Lab tests of new ‘heart patches’ have recently shown their ability to quickly mimic the heart tissue of animals following a heart attack. Once fully tested, the patches may give millions suffering from heart failure worldwide hope for recovery.

Heart failure due to damage caused by a heart attack can be debilitating and is generally not reversible. The new patches, however, are not only composed of millions of stem cells programmed to grow into new heart muscle but also release chemicals that stimulate existing cells to regenerate.

The hope is that eventually the lab-grown patches could be stockpiled in hospitals and routinely offered to patients following a heart attack. For now, the current research on the patches is being presented at the British Cardiovascular Society Conference in Manchester, with human trials to commence in the next two years.

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Source: New Scientist