The 14th Congress of the European Society of Cardiology: Scientists find key to growing new arteries in hearts
Wednesday 02 September 1992
Scientists at Freiburg University in Germany have succeeded in growing new arteries in the hearts of rats, where none had been before, by implanting a human growth factor which is involved in the natural mechanism of wound-healing.
If the experiment is safe and works in man, it could mean a new era of non-surgical heart treatment. Instead of bypass surgery - in Britain, the commonest form of surgery for heart disease with about 15,000 operations conducted each year - the growth factor could be implanted through a catheter or injected on to the heart.
The scientists described how the laboratory had first identified the growth factor, a type of protein which initiates the growth of new blood vessels necessary for wound-healing. Then they genetically manipulated E coli bacteria to produce this angiogenetic growth factor and implanted it between the aorta, the major arterial vessel leading out of the heart, and the surface of the heart muscle. After nine weeks, they were able to see that new arteries had formed, creating bridges between aorta and the heart muscle.
Dr Roland Fasol, a member of the team, said that despite advances in knowledge and treatment, heart disease remained the big killer. 'The ultimate therapy is still coronary surgery, if conservative and conventional treatment fails. But the surgeon is faced with the problem of limited availability of his patients' own graft material for his operation.'
He said the experiment had proved the feasibility of the technique and further research is under way to test its safety and the permanence of the new blood vessels.
One concern is to make certain that the growth factors which promote rapid growth of cells do not, at the same time, encourage the growth of cancer cells. Kirsten Schlaudraff, head of the Freiburg laboratory, said that so far their angiogenetic growth factor showed no sign of encouraging cancer and it might be possible to try it in human heart patients in about three years time.
- 1 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 2 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
- 3 Sussex couple die in suspected Christmas Day 'suicide pact'
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...