Novel therapeutic approaches using cell therapy that may contribute to grow new vessels and repair the cardiac tissue have shown great promise. However, successful retention of therapeutic cells in the target tissue after delivery is an important challenge that remains in that up to 98% of the cells delivered are lost very soon after delivery.
The proposal here seeks to improve and study cell retention by incorporating biopolymer tissue matrix strategies with catheter delivery technologies appropriate for routine clinical use. The results of this work may prove critical to enabling cardiovascular tissue engineering strategies broadly, and should also have important implications for other local tissue engineering therapies including spinal cord repair.
This study will lead to the development of new delivery system including a new tri-lumen catheter, a biopolymer and cells with regenerative capabilities. Validation of its interest in cardiac pathology will be followed with other fields where regenerative capabilities are required.
Heart failure affects 5 million Americans according the AHA, and approximately 90 thousand Californians. The California Healthcare Foundation estimated in 2002 that the cost to California institutions was $13 thousand per patient per year, or $65 thousand over the expected 5-year survival of a heart failure patient.
Heart failure is currently treated with drugs aimed at slowing down the effects of the heart dysfunction, and devices that can provide structural support for the progressively weakening heart muscle, rather than actually treating the disease.
Our research focuses on the use of biopolymers combined with therapeutic agents to increase retention of the agents in the myocardium. Novel therapeutic approaches using cell therapy that may contribute to regeneration of the heart through growth of new vessels and repair the cardiac tissue have shown great promise. However, retention of therapeutic agents and cells in the target tissue after delivery remain quite low, with up to 98% of the cells delivered being lost through venous or lymphatic drainage, or leakage through the access site for intramyocardial delivery.
Benefits to California:
1. Potential to create an improved therapeutic approach that maximizes the therapeutic benefit of regenerative therapies by improving retention in the target treatment area. This would help to change the treatment of Heart Failure from slowing deterioration, to stopping or reversing the disease. This has two primary benefits; 1) it limits California’s expense of managing patient care by creating a single treatment versus chronic care, and 2) it improves the quality of life of those patients.
2. Potential to create a research and corporate development reputation for California that attracts scientists and researchers to California public and private institutions, and attracts entrepreneurs and investment that help to create jobs and a higher standard of living.