Magnets draw stem cells to heart damage

Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute have used magnets to guide cardiac stem cells to damaged areas of animal hearts. In a press release, senior author Eduardo Marban said:

“Stem cell therapies¬† show great promise as a treatment for heart injuries, but 24 hours after infusion, we found that less than 10 percent of the stem cells remain in the injured area. Once injected into a patient’s artery, many stem cells are lost due to the combination of tissue blood flow, which can wash out stem cells, and cardiac contraction, which can squeeze out stem cells. We needed to find a way to guide more of the cells directly to the area of the heart that we want to heal.”

Although this paper was not funded by CIRM, Marban has a CIRM Disease Team Award to develop a therapy for heart failure.

Circulation Research, April 8, 2010